Power failures cause chaos at Biyagama EPZ: BOI responds

Country’s premier investment agency says regular meetings take place at the BOI to discuss power failures and related issues.


Apropos our front-page news item headlined ‘Power failures cause chaos at Biyagama EPZ’ in the June 11 issue, Director Media, BOI, Dilip S. Samarasinghe said that a power breakdown was reported on June 9 due to a tree falling on the high tension power line outside the zone. The power was restored within 30 minutes after the BOI alerted the CEB.

The following is a statement issued by Samarasinghe on June 14: "Regarding power failures and related issues there are regular meetings conducted by the BOI with the CEB and investors. According to issues raised at these meetings, the CEB made improvements to the power supply and the last meeting on this subject was held on June 9. As such the BOI in consultation with the CEB is constantly monitoring the quality of power supply given to enterprises in the zone."

"The issue of stray dogs was raised by members of the committee representing the investors’ association to improve the environment within the zone. The BOI is implementing a programme to vaccinate and sterilize dogs and also to remove them."

"The BOI implements a programme for road maintenance and improvement. Biyagama-based executives who met the BOI chairman on May 20 did not highlight the condition of roads as a major cause for concern."

Commenting on the suspension of the payment of ground rent in installments, Samarasinghe said that the BOI gave an opportunity to a few enterprises that had faced problems due to economic recession to pay in installments. He said that revenue was needed to maintain high standards at the EPZs and that the BOI was constantly in touch with all enterprises regardless of their size or sector.

News editor’s note:- We stand by our news item. In fact, the BOI had acknowledges there had been regular meetings involving BOI, CEB and investors’ representatives to discuss power failures and related issues and that the CEB effected improvements to the power supply following representations made by the BOI and enterprises. Earlier the CEB claimed that power failures had never been an issue. The BOI also admitted that investors had raised the issue of stray dogs and concessions regarding the payment of ground rent suspended.

Although Mr. Samarasinghe is critical of the news item as giving an unfavorable impression of Biyagama EPZ, particularly highlighting of stray dog menace, he had admitted the ongoing efforts to control stray dog population.

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