President Rajapaksa lamented that the many regimes prior to 2005 had failed to implement the first project plan of the UKPGP, which was expected to add 300 megawatts to the national grid, due to various setbacks. The reduction of the generation capacity from 300 MWs to 150 MWs was a drawback but it was still a victory for the government to have succeeded in implementing the UKPGP even with a reduced capacity, he said.
The power and energy sector had suffered a setback due to political, social and religious pressures from various quarters
to halt the power generation projects that were to be launched in the eighties and nineties. As a result, the country had had frequent power cuts and the economy had suffered as a result, he said.“This government listened to all sections that opposed the proposed power generation projects and adjusted them to suit the requirements and demands of all. Hence, the government has been able to launch a few other new projects that will keep the country lit up for the next few decades. The uniqueness of these power generation projects is that the government has been able to win the hearts and minds of the people who had been opposed to them.
Sri Lanka has achieved this progress in power and energy at a time when other countries in the region have power cuts that extended for 18 – 20 hours a day. There is no country in the region that does not have power
Sri Lankas longest tunnel, the 12.9 km long Upper Kotmale tunnel was declared open by President Mahinda Rajapaksa today