Electricity for all IDP villages in North-East
Over 95 percent of a quarter million displaced people in the
North-East now receive electricity after resettlement in their places of
origin,Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB)Chairman Vidya Amarapala said
The Board’s electricity penetration programmes have reached all IDP
villages in the North and East, he said.
The board is giving electricity to the resettled free of charge. The
provision of electricity will be available to them throughout the year,
He explained that CEB started its electricity enhancement projects in
the districts of Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Vavuniya, Mullaitivu and Mannar in
the Northeast as part of the government’s strategy for the revival of
infrastructure in war-torn areas under Vadakkin Wasanthan (The Awakening
North), the National Programme introduced by the government at the
initiative of Minister Basil Rajapaksa.
”CEB has fulfilled its task of introducing electricity to the
resettled on a fast track under the programme,” he said. The projects
were implemented from the time the government ended LTTE terrorism in
the Northeast in 2009.
Amarapala said their challenge was to rapidly transmit electricity in
the war-torn districts so that other development activities could
manifest themselves with its help.
This is in keeping with the government policy to fast track
development in the Northeast under Vadakkin Wasantham. He said CEB spent
billions of rupees to supply electricity to the Northeast and said they
sincerely hope that this has laid a firm footing to achieve much
expected economic growth in the region.
”CEB has completed all its electricity generation projects in the
Northeast. There are a few projects that will be finished during the
course of the year,” he added.
Asked if CEB could afford to give electricity free of charge to the
resettled considering its financial losses , Amarapala said the CEB has
been able to recoup its financial losses considerably in the last year.
He said CEB made a profit of Rs 5 billion last year by implementing
programmes to recover its electricity bills with new management
standards on the directions of Power and Energy Minister Champika
It recovered from a loss of Rs 40 billion, that was taking place on a
yearly basis, he pointed out.
He also said CEB is prepared to bear any costs in support of the
government’s post war reconciliation programme. The CEB has been a
strong partner so far in the process,he said.
”We think our effort should reflect more than mere illumination of
household bulbs in the North. Electricity will pave the way for the
resettled to start new industries in resettled villages,”he said.
”We expect the resettled people in the North to become entrepreneurs
who can contribute in a big way to the national economy,” he added.