Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said yesterday that the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) have been instructed to conduct a full investigation into the failure to take steps to generate electricity from the water released by the Randenigala and Rantambe reservoirs eventhough the Engineers at the Irrigation Department have officially informed the relevant CEB officials about the opening of sluice gates of both reservoirs.
Addressing a media briefing held at the Power and Energy Ministry, the Minister said that he had requested the CID to take over the investigation if necessary.
According to the normal procedure, the Engineers at the Mahaweli Authority and the Irrigation Department informed the CEB officials that the water will be released for irrigation and water needs. Then, the CEB officials take measures to generate hydro power through the turbines following their official announcement.
However, officials in charge of the power plants attached to those two reservoirs have not taken any steps to generate hydro power from the water relased from the two reservoirs. Therefore, the investigation will be carried out to find out why these officials have failed to fulfill their responsibilities and take steps to add that electricity to the main power grid.
Although no steps were taken to generate electricity from water at that time, electricity was generated through the use of fuel creating great loss to the country.
He further said 912,000 cubic metres of water has been released from the Rantambe Reservoir and 409,000 Cubic Metres from the Randenigala Reservoir. He said legal and disciplinary action will be taken against responsible persons after the formal inquiry.
He added that the Government will also probe whether the power outage that occured on the morning of the day that the Power Act was due to be amended in Parliament was an act of sabotage or whether there was any other cause.