Colombo, Dec 4 (DailyMirror) – Sri Lanka faced a nationwide power failure yesterday which resulted in the country coming to a standstill and questions being raised if the power was tripped off purposely as an act of sabotage by the protesting CEB Engineers’ Trade Union.
By last afternoon, General Manager of the CEB, M.R. Ranatunga told Daily Mirror that he suspected the nationwide power cut was the result of sabotage by the trade unions as the Engineers’ trade union were purposely delaying in restoring power, especially to the main Colombo city.
He said the trade unions were against him holding the position at the Electricity Board which is why the power may have been disrupted. He said investigations would be launched by the relevant authorities to determine this but priority was to restore power as soon as possible.
By last evening, livelihoods were disrupted and businesses had come to a complete standstill as a result of the electricity disruption. Houses were also plunged into darkness.
With the heat mounting on authorities, the CEB Workers’ Union were quick to call off their work to rule campaign and dismiss the allegations of sabotage saying the power failure was a result of a breakdown in coal power plants in Norochcholai that had tripped, resulting in all power generations coming to a standstill. They said the power failure was a result of natural occurrences and was not purposely done.
The Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) also commenced an investigation with the assistance of electrical engineers in connection with the power failure to determine whether it was an act of sabotage.
By yesterday evening electricity had been restored in several areas while Ranatunga said efforts were ongoing to restore power islandwide by nightfall.
State Minister of Wind, Solar, Hydropower Generation Duminda Dissanayake said it would take at least three days to reactivate the coalpowered Norochcholai power plant.
He said the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) would rely more on hydro power to compensate for the loss of power from coal during this period.
It takes at least three days to restore a coal power plant if it gets tripped off in the event of an island wide power disruption.
“We will try to see whether we can meet the entire requirement from hydropower. Probably, we cannot do it. The entire picture will be clear by tomorrow,” he said.