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After a lapse of 22 years The Minister of Power and Energy Patali Champika Ranawaka visited Polonnaruwa to discuss the electricity problems of the people of the area and also held discussions with the employees of the CEB last Saturday (11.06.11)

During this visit of the Minister of Power and Energy held at the Hingurakgoda Ananda Balika Maha Widyalaya, from 9.30 am to 5.00 pm a mobile service was conducted for the benefit of the electricity consumers of Minneriya, Hingurakgods, Madirigiriya and Manampitiya areas, while this mobile service was successfully  conducted under the guidance of the Deputy General Manager of the North Central Province CEB Gratian Muthukudaarachchi by the Electrical Engineer  of Madawachchiya Hemali Amaradiwakara, Chief Engineer construction Shirley Kumara, commercial engineer Samanthi Sudharshani and the dedicated service of the entire CEB staff .  Here issues pertaining to bills, breakdowns, and electricity meters were attended to, while those anticipating new electricity connections were also given their connections. During the course of this mobile service those who had applied for new electricity connections were handed their connections by Minister Ranawaka. Land development deputy Minister Siripala Gamlath, Deputy Minister Social Services Chandrasiri Sooriyaarachchi and around 600 villagers attended this mobile service.

Concurrent to this Mobile service, a special discussion on the problems faced by the people and on ways of maintaining an efficient electricity service in the polonnaruwa district was held with the politicians of the area including the Land development deputy Minister Siripala Gamlath, Deputy Minister Social Services Chandrasiri Sooriyaarachchi, The North Central Province Power and Energy Minister Nandasena Ratnayake and North Central Province Minister Peshala Jayaratne, together with several provincial counselors and consumer representatives. At this discussion issues related to the power supply in the area together with the future plans for new electricity projects in keeping with the vision of the Minister of Power and Energy Patali Champika Ranawaka  by 2012 were also reviewed.

Meanwhile the Manampitiya E City office built to cater to the electricity needs of the people of the Minneriya area was also declared open by Minister Ranawaka. Meanwhile the minister also engaged in cordial discussions with the nearly 170 employees of the Minneriya area electrical Engineer’s office. An employee of the with nearly 30 years of service added that this is the first time in his service that he has witnessed the visit of a minister to their office. It was also heartwarming to see him gift the minister a historical artifact  on behalf of the entire staff as a token of gratitude and happiness.
The next stop in his tour was a  visit to a rice mill of a prominent businessman of the area as well as an elected public representative from the Pulathisi electorate, who has succeeded in supplying his own power requirements using refuse from his rice mill. We had the rare privilege of visiting the Nipuna Rice Mill Power station that produces 2 MW of power needed for the factory utilizing the refuse from the rice mill “Dahaiya” making optimum use of modern technology for this purpose.
Three electrification schemes initiated with the aim of improving the 80% coverage of the Polonnaruwa district was handed over to the public by minister Ranawaka. The 3 projects namely Nikapitiya, Nikapitiya Gembagala and Alahara Wakanda electrification Projects were handed over to the public, while the Government has incurred an expense of Rs. 14 million to provide electricity to 301 families in this area. Although it was a tremendously tiresome day seeing the smiling faces of the residents of the area as their houses were lit up was enough motivation for us to continue on our journey.
While this year 7 electrification projects in the Polonnaruwa District have been handed over to the public, the Government has incurred an expense of Rs. 37.6 million which has benefited 551 families. The Minister stated that the Government has already allocated funds to support the electrification projects in the Polonnaruwa District with the aim of fulfilling the goal of 100% electrification coverage in the Polonnaruwa District.
Last Sunday morning the mobile service at the Nochchiyagama Bandaranayake primary school in the Anuradhapura District was held unde3r the patronage of the Minister of Power and Energy. The Deputy Minister of Irrigation and Water Management  W.B Ekanayake also participated in this event while the Anuradhapura area Electrical Engineer Buddhika Prasad and the staff of the Consumer services division successfully provided solutions to the problems of nearly 500 consumers. In addition the Minister visited the Nochchiyagama Consumer services centre and engaged in cordial discussions with the staff there.
With the aim of providing an efficient and friendly service to the consumer an E city office was inaugurated adjacent to the Electrical Engineers Office. Furthermore a special office was officially opened by the Minister with the aim of completing the Electrification transmission network before the end of 2012. The project called “Widulamu Lanka” at an investment of Rs. 8000 million, will cover the entire North Central area with the establishment of 550 transformers. Chief Engineer Shirly Perera will function as the project manager. Addressing the contractors and the CEB officials, Minister Ranawaka stated that at the least they should complete Rs. 300 million worth work on the electrification work per month. The Minister further stressed that the need of the hour is to have dedicated and committed staff working round the clock irrespective of night or day with the sole purpose of completing the work within the stipulated time frame for the prosperity of the country. He further said that the CEB family had it in them to become proud government servants who have completed their duties 100%.
With an investment of 78 Lakhs in the Alapaththuwa Ahatuwewa benefiting 75 families, Minister Ranawaka established the Halmillawewa Electrification project transformer on this day. 1.9 meters of high tension cables and 3 km of low tension cables are also included in this project. The North Central Province General manager said that he would ensure that electricity is provided for the residents of this area by the 25th of July. The Security personnel in the area told us that we should make our journey before 7 pm as there was a threat of wild elephant attacks. Hence we should appreciate the dedicated service rendered by the CEB work force to complete this project.
Another 4 projects were handed over to the public on Monday the 13th. Early that morning electricity was provided to the residents of Galkandegama benefitting 63 families. Wildlife and Agriculture services minister  S.M. Chandrasena participated in this event. In addition with the participation of Youth Affairs and skills development deputy minister Duminda Dissanayake, Minister of Power and Energy Patali Champika Ranawaka handed over to the public,the Kalathirappane Electrification project, benefiting 45 families in the area.

Another Electrification scheme was inaugurated by the Minister of Power and Energy benefiting 132 families in Payagala Kalugala Yaya 1 while another at Udakorasagalla was also handed over to the public by the minister providing electricity to 61 families in the area. Provincial councillors  Weerasena Gamage and Duminda Dissanayake participated in this event. Addressing those gatherd at this handing over Minister Ranawaka said that these electrification projects were inaugurated not just for the villagers to watch tele dramas, matches and realty programs, but for the future of the children of the area and also for the small scale and medium scale business community to further develop their operations.

The Ministry of Power and Energy stated that so far this year inclusive of the 12th and 13th 26 electrification projects have been completed in the Anuradhapura district at a cost of Rs. 185.9 million benefiting 1560 families.

Prior to the Poya day the deputy minister Duminda Dissanayake escorted the Minister of Power and Energy to the Allawewa Kahatagasdigiliya Veragala Siri Sangabo Raja Maha Viharaya, giving the minister the rare opportunity of witnessing the rare artifacts obtained through excavations being conducted at the temple. Subsequent to the temple visit the minister visited the North Central province CEB General Managers office and held cordial discussions with the workers there. Addressing them the minister said the the CEB has evolved from being an organisation plagued with debt to one that is showing great promise and have begun to make profits and is not indebted to any institution. He also told them that they should think of the consumer as their friend.

With the aim of improving the 81% coverage in the Anuradhapura district to 100% the Minister held discussions with senior officials of the power sector together with the politicians of the area.Chief Minister of the North Central Province Berty Premalal Dissanayake, Youth Affairs and skills development deputy Minister Duminda Dissanayake, Women and Child development minister Tissa karaliyadda, Irrigation and Water Resource Minister W. B Ekanayake  Provincial MP Samarasinghe and several others participated in this event.

Here the Minister discussed the progress on Widulamu Lanka in providing electricity to all and appreciated the dedication and commitment of the work force involved in these projects.

Ending the 4 day tour Minister Ranawaka participated at the illumination ceremony of Ruwanvali seya together with the Prime Minister and opened the “Aloka Poojawa” on the 14th at 7 pm at Mihinthalaya in Anuradhapura.

May the Blessing of the Triple gem grant the Minister of Power and Energy and his staff the strengh and courage to forge forward in achieving their goal of Electricity for all by the year 2012.

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