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Ex-Media Dy. Minister asks whether those interested in buying costly emergency power delayed vital ADB project

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Karunaratne Paranavithana

Former Media Deputy Minister Karunaratne Paranavithana yesterday (08) asked whether those interested in purchasing costly emergency power from the private sector deliberately delayed the completion of an Asian Development Bank (ADB) funded project to set up high tension power lines from Lakshapana to the Southern Province via Siripagama, Ratnapura.

Addressing the media in Colombo on behalf of Eksath Janaraja Peramuna, the former Ratnapura District lawmaker said that the government owed an explanation.

Paranavithana said that the CEB undertook this project to ensure continuous power supply, in case of an emergency. However, the project hadn’t been completed due to their failure to connect about a 600 meter stretch for quite a long time.

According to the former JHU activist, the CEB hadn’t been able to reach a consensus with the owner of the tea estate, regarding the compensation.

Instead of working out an arrangement with the tea estate owner, on the basis of the setting up of power lines, a national requirement, the government seemed hell-bent on procuring private power, under costly terms.

Referring to a recent statement made by Prof. Anura Wiejyapala, one-time Chairman of the CEB, Paranavithana said that the CEB could connect the 600 meter stretch within a day. Prof. Wijeyalapa declared that few other problems could be addressed quickly and the Southern Province connected with Lakshapana to overcome the crisis (SF)

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