Sri Lanka takes steps to protect power system

Colombo, March 17 (IANS) Sri Lanka on Thursday said there was a serious threat to the country’s power and energy system, which had led to military deployment to protect all power installations and sub-stations.

Deputy Power and Energy Minister Ajith Perera told the media that the police had launched investigation into Sunday’s nationwide power failure which was suspected to be an act of sabotage, Xinhua news agency said.

President Maithripala Sirisena had appointed a special committee to investigate the incident.

The minister said the government was putting in place all measures to rectify and upgrade the power and energy system to provide uninterrupted electricity supply to all parts of the country in future.

On Wednesday, the army, navy and air force were deployed at all Ceylon Electricity Board installations and sub-stations in the country to provide protection.

Following Sunday’s island-wide power failure, parts of Sri Lanka faced temporary power cuts this week despite assurances from the government that the country’s main coal power plant was back in operation.

The power failure on Sunday, which lasted for over seven hours, was the longest to be reported in Sri Lanka in 20 years.

Investigations have revealed that an explosion in one of the main power transformers on the outskirts of the capital had caused the power failure.

This is the third countrywide power failure to be reported in Sri Lanka since the new government won a parliamentary election in August last year.

In September, an island-wide power failure lasting for over four hours crippled the country due to a technical failure in the main electricity plant.

The second power failure was reported on February 26 which lasted for over three hours, with the government stating that a lightening jolt had struck one of the main power lines in the capital.

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