Business Times

Utilities Regulator to ensure safety of power supply in schools

The safety of power supply to about 4.5 million electricity consumers of which about 90% is served by the Ceylon Electricity Board is to be ensured under a countrywide inspection programme launched by the Public Utilities Commission, Sri Lanka’s power and energy sector regulator said.

According to the Sri Lanka Electricity Act, one of the main objectives of the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) is to protect the public from dangers arising from the generation, transmission, distribution, supply and use of electricity.

Director General of the Public Utilities Commission Prof. Ranjith Perera told the Sunday Times BT that PUCSL has launched an inspection programme to check and advice on any unsafe conditions in electrical installation, and enforce technical and other standards relating to the safety of electricity supply services in the country.

He disclosed that PUCSL as the safety regulator for the electricity industry has started a programme to check electrical installations in government schools. This programme was inaugurated at Dhammapala Balika Vidyalaya in Puwakdandawa, Tangalle in Hambantota district.

The school was provided with the necessary electrical safety devices with the assistance of Richardson Projects (Pvt.) Ltd. This programme has been conducted island-wide by the electrical inspectors and already about 30 schools have been inspected, he said.

He added that electrical installations in at least 80% of schools are in a serious state posing a danger to students and some of it needs immediate repairs. He noted that the PUCSL is seeking the assistance of private sector companies and past pupils associations to carry out repairs as the Commission cannot bear the costs at present.

Meanwhile as part of its consumer protection function, PUCSL has started a special unit to handle consumer grievances. Since, April 8, 2009, PUCSL has received 446 complaints to date, and has already resolved 311.

This unit is assisted by the electrical inspectors, who are appointed to enforce technical standards and codes. Three inspectors are already appointed, and are mobilized throughout the country he said.

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