Blackout on Saturday: Repeated Power Outages Raise Questions on Unimplemented Recommendations

December 11, 2023

Ceylon Electricity Board sources reveal that three similar power outages have occurred in the past three years, yet recommendations provided by the Public Utility Commission and other institutions to prevent such occurrences remain unimplemented. Opposition parties and trade unions argue that had these recommendations been acted upon, the recent nationwide power outage could have been averted.

According to sources, a comparable power failure took place for the first time in March 2016. Subsequently, on August 17, 2020, the country experienced a more than six-hour outage due to a breakdown in the transmission system in Kerawalapitiya. Moreover, on December 3, 2021, a technical fault in the Kothmale and Biyagama power system led to another electricity supply disruption.

Engineer Noel Priyantha, the media spokesperson for the Ceylon Electricity Board, cited the latest data attributing the recent power outage to a lightning strike from Kothmale to Biyagama. The recurrence of such incidents raises concerns about the effectiveness of the proposed preventive measures and the urgency to address potential vulnerabilities in the power grid.