COLOMBO – Sri Lanka’s power utility regulator, the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), said it will not impose power cuts after 6:00 p.m. from Sunday (22) to June 1 to facilitate over 500,000 students sitting for their GCE Ordinary Level exams next week.
“We are using all resources we have to make sure the 510,000 children who are sitting for the exams are not inconvenienced,” PUCSL Chairman Janaka Ratnayake told a media briefing on Thursday (19), adding that they have requested the government to provide 10,000 metric tonnes of diesel or furnace oil to manage the situation better. Ratnayake also noted that no diesel was used in the past week for power generation as the contribution from the hydro power had increased.
Sri Lanka has imposed daily power cuts lasting up to nearly four hours due to a fuel shortage caused by a crippling forex crisis. The regulator imposed 13-hour power cuts in March, but increased hydro power generation has helped to bring down the duration.
“At the moment tanks are filled to 50% capacity and we have informed the authorities that we will require a greater volume of water than usual due to the O/L exams,” Ratnayake said.
Hopeful there would be more rainfall after May 25, Ratnayake however said what is really necessary is a long term plan to generate power.
He also noted that all coal power plants in Norochcholai will be functional and added to the national grid from Monday (23), assuring there would be much less problems with electricity.
Parents and students of all educational levels have expressed their displeasure over power cuts, citing that they “are robbing them of education”.
The acute fuel shortage meanwhile compelled the government to close down schools island-wide on Friday (20).