(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Finance has instructed all heads of local government bodies to turn off all street lights in the country until March 31.
In a special statement issued to all heads of local government bodies and group leaders, Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa said that in addition to deactivating street lights, alternative ways of saving electricity should be implemented as much as possible to minimize the impact on daily life.
Hydro power plants, which contribute 30 percent of the country’s total electricity generation, have been completely shut down due to the prevailing rainless weather.
As an alternative to fill that gap, diesel and fuel power plants have to be used to generate electricity and add it to the national grid. Those power plants incur very high costs to produce a unit of electricity.
At the moment, world oil prices have risen sharply, and economists predict that oil prices will continue to rise, the Finance Minister noted. The situation is further complicated by the fact that internally the country’s dollar reserves are still limited.
The primary option for managing this situation is to use electricity sparingly on a priority basis, he explained.
In his announcement, the Minister of Finance has requested the heads of all governing bodies to turn off all street lamps until the 31st of this month to save electricity as an example.