President commissions Upper Kotmale power plant
The final large scale hydropower plant of the country has been commissioned to carry out its national task.
The President has awarded its total capacity to the national grid. The group led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa who arrived at the site of the Upeer Kotmle hydropower plant was welcomed amidst dance performances of the local artistes. Japanese Ambassador in Sri Lanka Nobuhito Hobo, Ministers, Parliamentarians and other distinguished guests were present at the occasion. As the President switched on the network, a memorial plaque of rock was automatically unveiled.
The underground power station situated several kilo metres away from the site was also commissioned along with that. The project was initiated in March 2006 but was confined to a mere plan for a number of years due to political tug of war. It became a reality due to the bold measures taken by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Addressing the gathering the President said that people’s welfare t is more important than power.
He said the project was planned in 1967 but a decision could not be made. Norochchole power plant had to be constructed in 1990. Those who were in power were hesitant to make decisions for the welfare of the people in order to retain power. Nevertheless they were unable to stay in power. He said that people’s welfare is more important than retaining power.
Speaking at the occasion Minister Patalie Champika Ranawaka said that the President has paved the way to realize the dream of supplying power to all.
The Minister said that the President has made bold decisions with regard to the power sector. During his tenure 1000 megawatts were added to the national grid. He called on the people to save electricity in houses offices and factories to overcome the challenges posed by the climate.
The final massive hydropower project to be built in this country is the Upper kotmale hydro power plant inaugurated by the President today. The construction of the Upper Kotmale hydropower project confined to plans only for several decades started in March 2006. President Rajapaksa who acted with foresight despite the pressures, considering the future increase of the demand for power, took measures to start the project on behalf of the masses. The constructions were launched in a manner that would add 150 megawatts of power to the national grid. A dam was constructed across the Kotmalaoya to divert water through a tunnel of 13 kilo metres. Power is generated at the Niyangandora village and the water is thereafter released to Kothmala Oya. The first phase in which 75 megawatts are generated was added to the national grid in March. The remaining 150 megawatts are released from today. Japan has extended 37 thousand 817 million Yens providing much strength while the electricity board has provided 8.5 billion rupees to construct the Upper Kotmale power plant in an environmentally friendly manner. The Upper Kotmale power plant would be a huge strength to realize the vision of the government to illuminate the entire nation.