New Awakening for Ratnapura.
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“Target of providing electricity to 20,000 families in hazerdous areas before 2012″

Several electrification projects were inaugurated by the Minister of Power and Energy Patali Champika Ranawaka in the Ratnapura District, in keeping with the concept of His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapake to provide electricity to all by the year 2012. During this inspection tour by the Minister several regional electrification projects, small scale hydro power projects, and tree planting campaigns were commenced, while provincial electricity offices and electricity centeres implementing efficiency stratergies were also inspected by the Minister.

Accordingly the Kalawana, Thannapita Henyaya electrification project was commissioned, while the Kalawana Koddippilikanda electrification scheme was vested in the people, Udadelwala Meehana Gulana electrification project was also inaugurated, and the Kolonna Muladiyawala village electrification project was also commissioned by the Minister of Power and Energy. The Ministry stated that through these projects a large number of households without electricity thus far had received electricity.

A tree planting campaign is currently being carried out by the CEB on the instructions of the Minister of Power and Energy, with the aim of preserving the water resources in the catchment areas. In keeping with the minister’s concept the first tree planting campaign was inagurated by the minister on the 25th of thisd month in Kalawana, concurrent to the Minister’s Sabaragamuwa inspection tour.

The Minister also held a progress review meeting to ascertain the progress of the development activities in the Ratnapura District. Addressing this meeting the Minister said that the government had earlier planned to supply electricity to the entire country by 2016. However the government revised that target to achieve 100% electricity coverage for all by 2012. Under the Widulamu Lanka concept electricity for all does not mean providing electricity to every household, instead it is to provide electricity to every village. Providing electricity to every household is an ardeous task. We aim to provide 20,000 households in hazerdous areas in the Ratnapura District said the Minister. To areas where electricity cannot be provided through the regular power distribution lines, alternative power sources will be provided. In this project low cost solar power kits will be provided. The Ministry has identified around 50,000 families who are unable to obtain electricity through the main grid. The are mainly from the Ratnapura, Badulla, Kandy, Matale and Kytes areas. If they can be provided electricity through small scale projects it will be carried out in that manner, if not alternative measures will be taken said the Minister. He said that if we are to overcome the power crisis alternative energy sources have to be looked at. The main reason for this is that fossil fuels such as Coal are fast depleting. We hope to add 20% power to the National Grid by the year 2010 said the Minister. We have made several concessions for low income families enabling them to obtain electricity. All these measures are implemented with the ain of providing electricity to all by the year 2012.

The Deputy Minister of Power and Energy Premalal Jayasekera, Chairman of the Renewable Energy Authority Dr. Kithsiri Dissanayake, aditional General Manager zone 03 F.J Mohideen, Widulamu Lanka Ratnapura Project Director P.A. D. G.C Kaldera together with several CEB officials participated in this event.