Uma Oya multipurpose development project: no problems to report


State Minister of Power and Energy, Mr. Indika Anuruddha Herath assured that since the Uma Oya Multipurpose Development Project was vested in the public, there have been no reported landslides or other issues. He cautioned against misleading representations, noting that some individuals are attempting to mislead the public by showcasing small waterfalls resulting from rainfall.

A team of geologists will embark on an observational tour of the Uma Oya region tomorrow (01) to assess and document any reported cracks and floods in the area, he added.

State Minister Indika Anuruddha conveyed these updates during a media briefing at the Presidential Media Centre (PMC) held today (30) under the theme “Collective Path to a Stable Country”.

State Minister Indika Anuruddha further commented:

The country has suffered a loss of nearly USD 200 billion due to the nine-year delay in completing the Uma Oya Multipurpose Development Project. Consequently, the loss over the past nine years is estimated at USD 587 million. The initial project estimate stood at USD 529 million. However, over the past nine years, electricity generation linked to the Uma Oya project could not be integrated into the national grid, resulting in the project incurring a loss equivalent to the estimated amount.

Despite the addition of electricity generation from the Uma Oya project to the national grid, misleading media reports suggesting the project caused landslides persist. Some individuals aim to obstruct the project’s progress by highlighting minor waterfalls post-rain. Notably, no confirmed incidents related to the project have occurred. However, tomorrow (01), a team of geologists will assess reported cracks and floods in the Uma Oya area. The government assures technical solutions for any identified issues, drawing from global experience in prevention measures.

In the past, the country has experienced the loss of various development projects due to sabotage by certain individuals. Projects such as the proposed coal power plant in 2015 and the Kerewalapitiya LNG plant, among others, were derailed by legal battles and public protests. These instances illustrate how misinformation and fear-mongering tactics have led to the abandonment of significant projects. It is crucial for the public to remain vigilant against false information.

Additionally, our government has made a policy decision to source 70% of electricity production from renewable energy. Water, solar, and wind power plants play pivotal roles in this endeavour, contributing significantly to the renewable energy sector.

Moreover, the Ceylon Electricity Board and Sustainable Energy Authority have initiated a new program aimed at expediting projects generating electricity from wind or solar power, each with a capacity of less than 10 megawatts. Failure to swiftly obtain renewable energy sources could potentially lead to another electricity crisis in the future.

Furthermore, there has been evidence of a mafia group deliberately delaying the acquisition of licenses for power plants, subsequently selling them off to other parties at overstated prices without initiating plant construction. Consequently, a new initiative has been launched to expedite power plant processes. This initiative involves implementing a point-based system to swiftly approve electricity generation projects at the appropriate juncture.

Also, rooftop solar panel projects ranging from 5 to 500 megawatts only managed to procure approximately 22 megawatts per month during the previous season. However, following a thorough analysis of this scenario, efforts have been made to increase this output to 40 megawatts by the month of March.

State Minister of Power and Energy, Mr. Indika Anuruddha Herath, assured the public that there have been no reported landslides or issues since the Uma Oya Multipurpose Development Project was vested in the public. He warned against misleading representations by some individuals regarding the project. A team of geologists will assess the Uma Oya region to document any reported cracks and floods. The country has suffered a loss of nearly USD 200 billion due to delays in completing the project. The government is focused on increasing renewable energy sources to achieve 70% of electricity production. Efforts are being made to expedite power plant projects and increase solar power generation.

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