Sept 25, Colombo: Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa today connected the war-ravaged Northern Jaffna peninsula to the national electricity grid 25 years after Tamil Tiger terrorists destroyed the electricity network.
President Rajapaksa delcared open the high tension electricity transmission line that connects the Northern Province to the national grid at the newly built Kilinochchi grid station today.
The President is currently presiding over the progress evaluation meeting of the Kilinochchi and Mullativu districts to discuss the progress of development projects and to plan for new projects. More attention will be paid to the stalled development projects, President's media coordinating secretary Wijayananda Herath has said.
The LTTE terrorists destroyed the whole electricity network on 6th October 1987 when the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) launched operations against them. Since then the electricity supply to peninsula was not connected to the national grid.
The lack of connection from the national grid to power the war-torn region was an obstacle for setting up industries and with the connection it is expected to boost the economic development in the peninsula.
The power authority Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) completed the erection of the Kilinochchi high voltage transmission lines and constructed 238 transmission towers from Vavuniya to Kilinochchi within a period of 2 years at a cost of 3.2 billion rupees.
The government expects to provide electricity supplies to all households in the peninsula by the end of this year.
Meanwhile the government will soon launch the India-funded 500 MW Sampur coal power plant that is to be built jointly by the CEB and National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) of India.
Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka has told the state-run radio that there is only a technical problem relating to the launching of the Sampur power project and the Electricity Board is presently holding discussions to resolve this issue.
The Minister has also disclosed that another power plant will be established in the Colombo district.