President Mahinda Rajapakse took a very important decision to initiate the construction of the Upper Kotmale and Norochcholai power plants amidst difficulties. The Upper Kotmale phase II will usher in an era of prosperity, Power and Energy Minister W. D. J. Seneviratne said. Speaking at the inauguration of the Upper Kotmale phase II construction recently, he said the Upper Kotmale phase 11 when completed will supply power not only to the up country population but also to the entire country.
He said in 2002 the then Power and Energy Minister Karu Jayasuriya wanted to start the project but he was unable to do so due to series of constraints he faced. Even in 2004 the former Power and Energy Minister Susil Premjayantha was also unable to start the project due to various problems.
Seneviratne said that electricity was essential for the development of the country. Sri Lanka started to generate electricity in 1895 and in 1950 the first hydro-electricity power plant was constructed in Lakshapana and in 1969 the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) was set up. Today electricity has become indispensable in day-to-day lives of the entire population, he said.