LECO asked to stop taking  a two-month security deposit


By Shamindra Ferdinando

Apropos our front-page news item captioned "Now CEB demands a two-month security deposit from domestic customers,’ on Feb. 1 issue, CEB spokesman Danushka Ramanayake, said that those who obtained electricity connections from the CEB had to make a deposit (two months average payment) in advance. Ramanayake said that the CEB would return the deposit if a person no longer wants power from the national grid, after deducting dues if any.

Responding to a query by The Island, Ramanayake acknowledged that defaulters who applied for power connections again from the Lanka Electricity Company (Private)

Limited, an institution under the Power and Energy Ministry, had to deposit with the LECO an amount equivalent to average payment for two months taking into consideration bills received within the last six months before the discontinuation of power supply.

Ramanayake said that Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka had discussed the issue with LECO recently in an effort to decide on a unified system.

Minister Ranawaka had pointed out that the CEB and the LECO couldn’t adopt different methods to deal with defaulters.

Following The Island report, M. N. Susantha Perera, General Manager of LECO told the Power and Energy Ministry that his institution had been compelled to insist on a two-month security deposit due to a rapid increase in the number of defaulting customers. Perera said that LECO hadn’t called for an advance deposit in line with the CEB policy, though it could do so in keeping with the Electricity Act.

Perera said that LECO had asked for a two month security deposit in addition to arrears from those, who had their power discontinued thrice before restoration of connections. He went on to say that in keeping with the Power and Energy Ministry policy, from now on only those who obtained new connections from LECO would have to deposit money.

Well informed sources told The Island that those who already had connections, would continue to be subject to existing rules and regulations.

LECO launched business operations on June 1, 1984 and services over 450,000 customers in the Western and Southern coastal belt townships between Negombo and Galle.

Responding to a query, LECO Chief Susantha Perera on Thursday (Feb. 3) said that in case the deposit taken in advance couldn’t cover the arrears, they would have to take steps to recover the losses.

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