During a press briefing held at the Presidential Media Centre (PMC) today (08), Kanchana Wijesekera, the Minister of Power and Energy, provided reassurances to the public that the government is not prepared to encounter any instance of power shortages. He strongly advised citizens to resist the spread of false information propagated by specific political factions regarding water release for electricity generation. He emphasized that such allegations are deceptive and should be treated with skepticism.
Minister Wijesekera’s statements were delivered as part of the ‘Collective Path to a Stable Country’ news conference, during which he addressed concerns pertaining to the power supply situation. He earnestly appealed to the public not to be swayed by political campaigns that aim to instill unnecessary apprehension about potential power disruptions.
Minister Kanchana Wijesekara further commented:
The Cabinet has made a decision to ensure uninterrupted electricity supply to all regions of the island and to maximize the use of water from the Samanala Wewa Reservoir for electricity generation.
As part of this effort, the Electricity Board has already initiated the release of 3.5 million cubic meters of water from the Samanala Wewa Reservoir, starting from 3:00 am today (08), for the purpose of generating electricity.
Additionally, there is a plan to release 2.5 million cubic meters of water from the 11th to the 15th of this month, specifically for electricity generation. However, due to the current water capacity situation, it is anticipated that electricity generation activities at the Samanala Wewa reservoir will need to be temporarily suspended by the 16th of this month.
The government is taking measures to ensure adequate electricity supply and optimal utilization of available water resources for electricity generation during this period.
The Cabinet has granted approval to expedite the completion of the Polpitiya and Hambantota transmission line system. This decision aims to enhance the efficiency of the electricity transmission network and enable the purchase of electricity as per demand.
The management of the Samanala Wewa Reservoir, which plays a crucial role in electricity generation, falls under the purview of the Electricity Board. However, it is important to note that the responsibility for releasing water required for power generation in all other reservoirs lies with the Irrigation Department and the Water Management Committee.
Through proper management of the water capacity in the Samanala Wewa Reservoir, electricity generation activities are being carried out according to the planned program implemented by the Electricity Board. As a result, it is projected that a stable supply of electricity can be provided until September 15 without encountering any issues.
The government is taking proactive measures to ensure a consistent and reliable electricity supply to meet the needs of the public and various sectors in the country.
Due to the release of additional water from the Samanala Reservoir, there is a possibility of power cuts in specific districts of the southern province, including Matara and Hambantota, as well as partially in the Galle and Ratnapura districts, for a certain period of time. To mitigate this situation and ensure a continuous electricity supply, the government has made arrangements to purchase essential electricity by the 16th of this month.
The decision to release water from the Samanala Wewa Reservoir is aimed at addressing the immediate crisis and preventing further potential crises. The government is working diligently to manage the available water capacity efficiently to support all power plant systems and maintain a stable electricity supply. It is important to emphasize that the government has never taken any decision to cut electricity, and unnecessary fear should not be created among the public.
Continuous electricity supply is crucial for the country’s well-being, including the tourism sector and industries. A stable electricity supply is essential for attracting tourists and ensuring the smooth functioning of various industries. The government is committed to resolving this situation and ensuring that the necessary measures are in place to meet the electricity demands of the affected areas.
Some political groups have attempted to exploit the current crisis for their own political gains by socializing different opinions regarding the release of water from the Samanala Wewa reservoir. Their efforts to create animosity towards the government were thwarted due to the decisive actions taken by the government.
The memories of the power crisis from a year ago still linger, where people faced hardships due to soaring fuel prices and difficulties in running factories. Daily life, including vital services like hospitals, was disrupted. In the past, bottle lamps may have sufficed, but modern needs cannot be met with such traditional methods.
Considering the drought situation in the country and the lack of expected rainfall this year, the government understands the challenges posed by climate change in the future. To address this, the government has presented a plan for continuous electricity supply, and measures have been taken to provide a certain amount of water for agricultural needs as well.
In light of the current circumstances, the government aims to secure the necessary electricity through purchases to ensure uninterrupted power supply for the next two years. Legal provisions will be sought to support these efforts.
It is crucial for everyone to comprehend the severity of the drought and the importance of finding practical solutions to secure essential resources like electricity and water. By working together and making informed decisions, the country can navigate through these challenging times more effectively.
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