JOP points finger at all-knowing electrical engineers for crisis

By Harischandra Gunaratna

Prof. Tissa Vitarana, former UPFA Minister and Joint Opposition stalwart, yesterday said that electrical engineers should take the blame for the power crisis in the country.

LSSP Leader Vitarana, addressing the media at the Dr. N. M. Perera Centre at Cotta Road, Borella, said the electrical engineers for reasons best known to them did not consult other experts.

Prof. Vitharana said the government had decided to purchase outright three private companies supplying electricity to the CEB, namely Heladanavi (100 MW), Ace Matara (60 MW) and a power plant in Embilipitiya (100 MW). He added that some of the CEB engineers calling shots at the CEB were holding major shares in those private companies.

The LSSPā€ˆveteran said the engineers’ Mafia had a big say in the commissioning of the power plants at Norochcholai and their arbitrary actions and wrong decisions had cost the country dear.

That went for some of the drug companies enjoying a monopoly over drug imports, Prof. Vitarana said.

The former Minister said the total demand for electricity in the country was 2,000 MW and the generation capacity was 3,900 MW, but as a result of water levels of reservoirs receding due to the prevailing drought a shortage had arisen.

Prof. Vitharana said the bulk of electricity (38 percent) was provided by coal power generation and hydro power accounted for 33 percent. He said that CEB engineers had blundered by installing three power plants of 300 MW and instead they should have gone for more plants of lower capacity of around 100 MW.

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