The Power and Energy Ministry has decided to seek the Bribery Commission`s help to nab some employees attached to CEB Regional Electrical Engineer Offices soliciting bribes from would-be electricity consumers to expedite the process.
CEB employees including clerks and peons attached to offices at Dehiwala, Mount Lavinia, Kirulapona, Kataragama, Moneragala and Badulla are alleged to have solicited bribes. They are also accused of deliberately delaying electricity connections to pressure people, Power and Energy Ministry sources said.
The people in affected areas had complained to the respective officials, but as there had been no response to their complaints they had made complained to the Energy Ministry.
The sources said that the some employees had also claimed that there was a severe shortages of electrical meters, insulators, cables and transmission accessories, but had promised to supply them quickly if they were given bribes. The sources said that those who refused to give bribe had been driven from pillar to post.
The sources noted that a clerk attached to Kirulapona regional electrical office had once solicited Rs.20,000 from a family to supply electricity connection within two days.
The sources said that CEB employees, such as clerks and peons and even some engineers who were directly dealing with the general public in day-to-day work had plenty of opportunity to solicit bribe taking the general public for a ride. These employees might misinform the would-be consumers about non-availability of meters and insulators to supply electricity and ask for bribe to attend to their needs on priority basis.
According to sources, bribe-taking process has been going on in regional electrical engineers offices unabated. The energy Ministry has decided to seek the assistance to bring the unlawful employees to the book.