North Western Province July radiance.
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The Minister of Power and Energy Patali Champika Ranawaka not content with just issuing instructions, is on an island wide inspection tour to gauge for himself  firsthand the progress made in providing electricity especially to the rural communities in fulfilling the vision of the Ministry in providing electricity for all by the year 2012. He also met with CEB workers and inquired into their wellbeing.

According to the minister’s agenda he was scheduled to visit the people of the NORTH western Province on the 28th, 29th , and the 30th of July.

The first on his 1st day’s agenda was to declare open the Vidulamu Lanka project office at the CEB deputy General Manager’s office premises in Kurunegala.

Later his attention was focused on the Consumer Service Centre in Mahawa, which won the Thaiki Akimoto challenge trophy for providing an efficient and productive service to the electricity consumers in 2010. The minister mingled with the staff and shared their experiences and engaged in informal conversation.

Meanwhile during the consumer discussions held at the Polpithigama T.B Ekanayake auditorium the consumers were able to find solutions to their issues pertaining to electricity bills, connection failures, faulty meters, voltage fluctuations etc. During these discussions the minister explained the procedures in obtaining an electricity connection and also explained methods of power conservation. Around 700 consumers obtained solutions to their electricity related problems.

The Minister of Art and Cultural affairsa T.B Ekanayake together with senior members of the CEB participated in this event.

The first day’s events culminated with the minister inaugurating several electrification projects in the Pallekale, Kotta wewa, Athawuda Gama, Walpaluwa and Eramuduwewa on the 28th of July with the investment of Rs. 70.2 Million, improving the electricity coverage from 86%.

The next morning an E shop at the Kurunegala CEB Area Engineers Office premises  was declared open for the convenience of the consumers.

The problems with regards to electricity services in the district and maintaining an efficient service a special discussion was held with the politicians of the North Western province Political Authority at the district secretariat. Minister of Environmental affairs Anura Priyadharshana Yapa , senior Minister S.B Navinna, MP Shantha Bandara , Provincial Council Chairmen, secretaries, CEB Additional General Manager Gemunu Abeysekera  and Deputy General Manager N.P.S Karunaratne plus a large number of consumers participated at this event. Discussions were also held regarding the rule to light street lamps between 7 pm and 5 am with Municipal councils, urban councils, and provincial councils members.

The Minister who visited the CEB Wariyapola district Engineers office on inspection also held informal discussions with the staff there.

In the evening the minister vested upon the public the Rideegama consumer service centre. Addressing the staff there the minister said that following Lord Buddha’s teachings all consumers coming to the consumer service centre should be treated like friends of the employees.

The Sri Asokarama Temple new sanctuary was also declared open to the public by the minister.

The Third day of the inspection tour (30)  was allocated for the Puttlam District. During a progress review meeting minister Ranawaka inquired about the progress of the rural electrification projects, and held discussion with the Puttlam Political Ministry  regarding the power related issues in the district, and gave his suggestions regarding the solutions to these issues.

That evening a consumer service centre was vested on the public by the minister.

The Puttlam District is currently 82% powered, while it is expected to reach 100% by 2012. With this intention in mind the minister gave the residents of  Mahakone wewa and Manaweriya their electricity connections.

Amidst all his duties the minister also worshiped at the Ridee Viharaya, and also inspected the country’s largest Buddha statue under construction.

The tour was a success due to the guidance of the Additional General Manager Gemunu Abesekera, and North Western Province Deputy General Manager N.P.S Karunaratne and the dedicated commitment of the entire CEB staff.

While the minister of Power and Energy Patali Champika Ranawaka’s trip to the North Western Province  ended, he will in the near future place a giant stride in the drive to provide 100% electricity coverage for the entire country.