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When the CEB was established in 1969 only 4% had access to electricity. By 1980 it had increased to 30%, while as of today it has increased to 90%. Our aim is to enable the entire country to have access to electricity. In comparison to other Asian countries even though Sri Lanka is in the forefront where electricity coverage is concerned, during this year we were faced with difficulties due to the lack of rain. Due to this situation several workshops on the conservation of energy by the sustainable energy authority has been organized island wide. However, even with such informative workshops being held, there is still no reduction in the number of street lamps that remain illuminated even during the day.
It has been identified that of the 7000 street lamps in the country only 3000 are legitimate, while the majority of 4000 are illegally set up. The total power usage of these street lamps annually is 150 GW hours where the government has to bear a loss of Rs. 2673 million annually.
In order to illuminate a 250 KW street lamp throughout the night it costs Rs.200 daily. Since we have had to resort to thermal power due to the lack of rains affecting the Hydro power generating capability, it costs between Rs. 50-75 per unit. Therefore we should take all measures to conserve electricity.
It is necessary for the Municipal councils, urban councils, district secretariats and provincial councils to implement a proper plan where street lights are concerned. Failing which the CEB and the Ministry of Power and Energy will have no choice but to resort to legal measures. During a visit to the North Western region the Minister of Power and Energy Patali Champika Ranawaka stated that relevant officials of the Councils and secretariats should implement appropriate plans to make sure that street lamps are lit only from 7 pm to 5 am.
Kurunegala District MP Nimal Senarath Wijesinghe, North Western District provincial Councilor R.D Wimaladasa, Rideegama Provincial Council Chairman Nayana Kumari Palmadulla, CEB additional General Manager Gemunu Abeysekera and several other dignitaries participated in this event.