Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) has decided to switch off half of the street lights in the country from today.
The CEB has taken the decision to turn off half of the estimated 800,000 street lamps in the island during a meeting held between Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka and provincial representatives.
The Minister has instructed the local government authorities to switch off the street lamps in their respective areas from August 01. The Minister has noted that the cost of generating enough electricity to operate street lamps has increased due to the drought conditions.
There are around 800,000 street lamps in Sri Lanka but only 400,308 of them are authorized. Of the authorized, Ceylon Electricity Board maintains 340,308 while 60,000 are maintained by Lanka Electricity Company.
A survey conducted two years ago found that CEB incurs a loss of Rs. 2.4 billion due to the unauthorized street lamps.
The hydropower generation capacity has dropped sharply due to the lack of rains in the upper catchment areas of the hill country and the power authority has substituted thermal energy to meet the demand. With the increase in thermal energy, the state-run power monopoly says it is incurring heavy losses.