The politicians and some media personnel who criticize the government’s power related issues are blind to the enormous development made by the government in the power sector during the last few years.
This was stated by the Minister of Mass Media and Information Keheliya Rambukwella addressing the Cabinet Decisions announcement meeting held at the Ministry of Mass Media and Information Auditorium on Thursday (09).
The Minister said that these people have completely forgotten the period that Sri Lanka had power cuts ranging from 7 to 10 hours a day. He said that the UNP government of Ranil Wickremasinghe gave consideration to few hundred votes instead of attending to national requirements and the implementation of the Norochcholai Power Plant Project was abandoned depriving the country 300 megawatts of power because of protests by a Rev.Father and a few hundred people on the instigation of the Rev.Father.
He said similarly the implementation of the Upper Kotmale Project was abandoned depriving the country 150 mega watts of power when the Minister of the government and a few hundred persons staged protests against the project. The Kerawelapitiya project was also abandoned under similar situations depriving the country 300 megawatts of power.
The Minister said that in fulfilling a pledge given in the Mahinda Chintanaya, President Mahinda Rajapaksa took a bold decision immediately after he came into power to launch all the power projects that had been abandoned for political reasons and prevent the country facing future power problems. He said that the President took this bold decision thinking about the welfare of the country over the preference for votes.
He said that Sri Lanka is the only country that supplies power round the clock. He reminded the media personnel about several days of power blackouts faced by several States of India and Pakistan recently during which people even torched many buildings in protest.
The Minister said that power supply has been extended to nearly 90% of the country and in remote areas and isolated villages where transmission lines cannot be fixed, steps have been taken to provide them power supply through solar panels. The Minister also said that in many areas single phase lines have been upgraded to three phase power supply and thereby helping many rural industrialists to engage in their industrial activities.
Information Department Director General of Government Information Department Prof Ariyaratne Athugala, Director of Media Center for National Development Ariya Rubasinghe and Director Information Wasanthapriya Ramanayake also participated in the press conference