The birth anniversary of D.J Wimalasurendra, who was born in 1874 was commemorated at the ministry of power and energy ministry yesterday, under the patronage of minister Patali Champika Ranawaka. Wimalasurendra who educated the white rulers at the time in 1914, on how hydro power could strengthen the country’s economy, is considered the pioneer of the Lakshapana hydro power complex.
Addressing the ceremony the deputy chairman of the Ceylon Electricity Board Anura Wijepala stated that from then until today no other had been able to render such a gigantic and committed service to the power and energy sector of the country. He said that Wimalasurendra at the time recognized the water resource which was available in abundance. Today however we have to depend greatly on other fuel resources for power generation, added Mr. Wijepala.
Delivering the main address minister Ranawaka said that Wimalasurendra did not only possess extensive knowledge in the power and energy field, but he was also equally adept in the fields of highways, railways and archeology.
The minister further pointed out that it is the responsibility of the entire CEB team to make sure the company functions in a productive manner rendering a valuable contribution fore the development of the country. He added that with the commitment of all workers and management the power and energy sector will be further strengthened by the first half of 2014. Through this the losses incurred by the CEB could also be minimized said the minister adding that stepping onto the streets demanding for rights is not the right thing to do, but to commit to serving the people.
The CEB through its committed service has been able to provide electricity to 1.1 million consumers over a period of 10 years from 2001. Of that number 500,000 new electricity connections have been given over the past two years.
The minister further pointed out that around 300,000 persons who used kerosene for their lighting purposes have also been granted electricity connections.
The minister did not fail to mention that it was not only the birth anniversary of Wimalasurendra, but also that of Anagarika Dharmapala and J.R Jayawardena.