The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), though reluctantly, have been compelled to extend the contract of the private power supplier Agrico to provide electricity to Jaffna up to December for the same rate they were supplying power despite a demand for 20% increase of the tariff.
A small section of CEB engineers who have been offended over the steps taken by the Power and Energy Ministry and the CEB to turn the premier utility provider around have turned against the Chairman and in a move to replace him to continue their mafia campaign, CEB Chairman, Vidya Amarapala charged today.
Addressing a news briefing at the Power and Energy Ministry he said former General Manager has failed to obtain power from the private supplier 'Northern Power' for a lesser rate of a unit but continued to purchase power on a higher rate from Agrico to supply power to Jaffna that cost the CEB, Rs. 190. Million.
“General Manager Mrs. Jayaweera and her cohorts must explain as to why she failed to make arrangements to purchase power from Northern Power. They kept the top management and the power and energy ministry in the dark on this sensitive issue compelling the CEB to renew/extend the Agrico contract at the last moment. They are also worried about the removal of former chief engineer Dr. Susantha Perera for his alleged misappropriation of Rs. 620 million of LECO funds. The engineer 'mafia' is hell bent on removing the chairman, deputy chairman and the working director when the CEB acted against these misdeeds,” he said.
Ultimately Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka was able to obtain a cabinet approval to extend the Agrico contract for another year and prevent Jaffna plunging into dark after December 31, 2010.
The fraud and discrepancies in the power sector in the North and issues regarding Northern Power and Agrico has revealed the extent of corruption and fraud taking place in the Power sector and the 'Power sector Mafia' is powerful to the extent of destroying anyone who goes against their plans, Mr. Amarapala alleged. (SAJ)