Thu, 25 Apr 2024 Today's Paper

people face blackout blow for the new year

By

19 March 2013 07:48 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A A A

The festival season is already looking bleak as the people are now dreading a tariff increase on electricity.

The request made by the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) to increase the electricity rates, from the Public Utilities Commission has sent shock waves among those who were already struggling to make ends meet.

It seems that the government will put the people from the frying pan into the fire as price hikes of key products and services are announced one after the other.

If the fuel price hike was thought to be shocking, the proposed electricity tariff hike will certainly be a deadly blow as the prices of many other products and services are likely to increase subsequent to the electricity price hike.

With no salary hikes in sight, the people are likely to suffer greatly if the Public Utilities Commission decides to accept the CEB’s proposal without making necessary changes to it.

Last year, the CEB carried out a campaign to curb wastage of electricity by educating consumers on how to save electricity. Even these methods don’t seem to help because although consumers are saving electricity, the electricity bill will likely to remain the same or even increase with the proposed tariff hike.

One wonders whether it is the consumer or the CEB that needs to be educated on minimizing wastage because there are constant newspaper reports about the mammoth losses and wastage in the CEB.

The proposed tariff hike on electricity will most likely ‘consume’ the consumers. If power is not generated at a lower cost, this trend will continue. Therefore, if the government has a genuine concern for the already suffocating consumers, strategic approaches and opinions of experts in the energy sector must be consulted and implemented.

“Energy Sector mismanagement has
 led to this crisis” - Dr. Harsha De Silva


According to Economist and UNP MP Dr. Harsha De Silva, it is the mismanagement of the energy sector that has led to this crisis. “We have not planned the electricity generation systems in the country properly, and the already implemented systems were not carried out as planned. The Mahaweli hydroelectricity plan started during the 1980s. Following its implementation in the early 90s until now, the plan prepared by engineers for the Mahaweli project has not been carried out,” he said.

He went on to say that the governments in power for the last 20 years are to be blamed as they have failed to carry out what required to be done. “In 2002 the lights literally went out and the government at that time had no alternative other than opting to allow private electricity producers to contribute to the grid, which was a costly operation,” he added.

He criticized the present government and those who were in power earlier for blaming   weather patterns that create challenges for electricity generation. “There should be proper policies to ensure alternative sources of energy in the event of a disruption in hydropower electricity,” Dr. Silva pointed out.

“We were able to save a significant amount by cutting down estimated costs of the CEB”
- PUCSL, DG,   Damitha Kumarasinghe


The regulator of Sri Lanka’s electricity sector, the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) said it was able to save some Rs. 40 billion for the government through cutting-down estimated costs of the CEB for 2012. Similarly, it had been able to save some Rs. 32 billion during 2011 through similar means.

“We suggested several steps such as approximating a higher generation capacity than what was estimated for hydropower generations. We also streamlined the contracts and investments for the relevant finance year, following a close analysis by the PUCSL of the estimated costs submitted by the CEB,” PUCSL Director General said.

“Low and medium level consumers will be severely affected”
-Ranjan Jayalal, Sri Lanka Electricity Board Employees Union President


Ranjan Jayalal said under the proposed price revisions, charges for those who use 90-120 units (medium consumption rates) would be increased by 59.39% and 55.46% while those who use 600 units and 800 units (high consumption) would be increased only by 8.69% and 3.00%.

“The losses incurred by the CEB are the result of corruption and mismanagement of the top ranking officials and cheap quality material used in new electricity generation plants.

“Poor political decision making has led us to this situation”-Prof. Rohan Samarajiva

“I sincerely hope that the proposed draft of the electricity price hike will be altered by the Public Utilities Commission to provide at least some kind of relief to the masses. The proposed price hike will affect all segments of the society including, companies and residential electricity consumers,” Founding Chair of LIRNEasia and ICT policy and regulation think tank, Professor Rohan Samarajiva said.

He said that the increasing demand for electricity in Sri Lanka is addressed by supplying electricity at a very high cost.

He pointed out that the last 5% utilized to supply the demand was responsible for about 50% of the costs; and  that the Ceylon electricity Board (CEB) would l have to opt for blackouts if it was not tackled effectively,

“The Norochchalai Power Plant was delayed by about 15 years. The proposed Sampur Power Plant which was to generate 500 MW is yet to become a reality. If the leaders built these power plants at the right time the supply would have met the increasing demand smoothly. But the failure to build these power plants to the national grid has created this crisis,” he said.

“This is the ideal time to bring down the fuel adjustment charge”– Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (JSS) Petroleum Branch President Ananda Pallitha

 Mr.Ananda Palitha said that the Ceylon electricity Board (CEB) should not dupe consumers by claiming that the fuel adjustment charge would be reduced from next year onwards.

“The officials of the Power and Energy Ministry say that they will reduce the fuel adjustment charge from next year. But this is a hoax. The fuel adjustment charge was brought earlier when there was not enough rainfall. Due to this situation, hydro power electricity generation was hindered. But now there is ample rain water to generate electricity. Actually this is the ideal time to reduce the fuel adjustment charge” he said.


Order Gifts and Flowers to Sri Lanka. See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Kids Toys, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,Astrology, Courier/Delivery, Medicine Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka

  Comments - 0

Order Gifts and Flowers to Sri Lanka. See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Kids Toys, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,Astrology, Courier/Delivery, Medicine Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka

Add comment

Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.

Reply To:

Name - Reply Comment




Order Gifts and Flowers to Sri Lanka. See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Kids Toys, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,Astrology, Courier/Delivery, Medicine Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka