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Consumer affairs

Power cuts persist despite promises

Residents in dozens of regions are calling in reporting power outages

Contrary to repeated assurances made by the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) that the ongoing power crisis would be resolved without resorting to power cuts, outages have been reported in various parts of Colombo over the past several hours.

Reports abound of power outages in Piliyandala, Nugegoda, Boralesgamuwa and elsewhere at different intervals today.

A Nugegoda resident told Republic Next that power had been out from 3pm today. When she had inquired the Lanka Electricity Company (LECO), the local distributor had confirmed that it was a power cut — as opposed to a power failure.

The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), meanwhile, states that the CEB’s reluctance to expedite the implementation of the Least Cost Long Term Generation Expansion Plan (LCLTGEP), which seeks to add new power plants to the national grid, is to blame for the present spate of power cuts, as it renders the CEB unable to meet the increase in demand of nearly 200 megawatts per annum.

The Commission argues that the delay in or non-implementation of the Plan will result in a loss of some Rs. 50 billion to the country in terms of costs incurred in acquiring power from private sector power plants through emergency power purchasing agreements.