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Solar power for rural Madulla

The Indian Government would consider the request of the Power and Energy Minister to extend the solar power extension project.

Indian Deputy High Commissioner Vikram Misri gave an assurance after commissioning the Solar Electrification project granted by the Indian Government at the Galgamuwa Kanista Vidyalaya in Madulla on Tuesday.

Deputy High Commissioner Misri gave the assurance after the Sustainable Energy Authority Chairman Dr. Krishantha Deheragoda on the request of Power and Energy Minister W.D.J. Senevirate appealed to the Indian Government to extend the project to the neighbouring villages which were located in the jungle along the Bibile-Namal Oya road in the Madulla Divisional Secretary’s Division.

Under the project temples, houses and streets in Rathugala, Mailegama and Siripathane villages located in the jungle have been provided with 300 domestic solar units and 50 street light units at a cost of Rs. 26 million.

The project was implemented by the Sustainable Energy Authority (SEA).

The Deputy High Commissioner said India is currently assisting several development projects in Sri Lanka; however only a very few projects would touch the hearts of the people so much as this project did since it immediately benefits the people.

The Deputy High Commissioner said he was extremely struck by the speech of the student of Galgamuwa Kanishta Vidyalaya who thanked the Indian Government and the High Commission for providing solar units.

“As children we were all afraid of the darkness. Now they could walk through the street at night. They could do their studies better,” he said.

He pointed out that the project would further cement the cordial relationship between the two countries. He said that the project was born out of the understanding between two countries at the 14th SAARC Summit where President Mahinda Rajapaksa made a request from the Indian Government. He added that India would help Sri Lanka in the areas food, environment and water.

Power and Energy Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne said that that India had come forward to help the marginalized people in the country. He pointed out that India has been always stood by Sri Lanka at crucial moments.

The Minister said the construction of the 1000 MW coal fired power plant assisted by India will commence by the end of this year.

He said the discussions to finalize the agreement were concluded the previous week. The Minister added that China had agreed to finance the second and third phases of the Norochcholai coal fired power plant.

He expressed confidence that the another 300 MW of power could be added to the National Grid next year with the completion of the first phase of the Norchcholai Coal Fired Power plant. SEA Chairman Krishantha Deheragoda said the main function of the SEA is to provide alternative energy sources until they are connected to the main grid.

He pointed out that SEA is responsible for providing alternative energy options to all households which could not be connected to the main grid by 2016. Punya Udayangani, a student of the Galgamuwa Kanishta Vidyalaya addressing the gathering in English thanked the Indian Government and the High Commission in Sri Lanka for granting solar electrification units.

“Kerosene lamps are dim and dangerous. Solar powered electric lights are safe and better. Now we can walk along the road after darkness,” she said.

Coordinating Secretary to Minister Sumedha G. Jayasena M. Wijekoon requested the SEA to formulate post installation maintenance program for the solar power panels as the rural communities could not afford to attend costly maintenance work.

Moneragala District Secretary J.J. Rathnasiri, Madulla Divisional Secretary M.G.A. Thilakarathne also spoke.

 

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