Electricity pylons blasted
[TamilNet, Sunday, 16 November 1997, 23:59 GMT]
Three high power electricity cable towers which supply the Batticaloa district in the eastern province of Sri Lanka were blasted by unknown persons last night.
The lines bring electricity from the Igniyagala hydro electric scheme about thirty miles south west of Vellaveli, the place where the three towers were destroyed.
As a consequence of this, power supply to the war torn district will be drastically curtailed from today. Electricity to Batticaloa town will be cut from 6.15 p.m. to 10.15 p.m.
The neighbouring Muslim town of Kattankudi will have no power from 11.30 p.m. in the night to 6 a.m. in the morning.
Other parts of Batticaloa south along the coast which are not under LTTE control will have no electricity from morning 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.
The preferential treatment for Kattankudi is mainly due to the influence of the SLMC strongman Hisbullah who is deputy minister for telecommunications.
Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) officials in Batticaloa said that the board has sustained damages in the last three months to the value of 21 million rupees in the district. They said that seventy transformers have been destroyed with explosives in different parts of Batticalao.
Thirty of these have been repaired so far they said. SLA shelling destroyed a transformer which was fixed in Muthalaikudah (the crocodile bay) in the Tiger controlled western hinterland of the district last month.
This transformer was set up under a rural electrification scheme for the district's vast rice rich western hinterland which was negotiated with the Tigers by SLMC's Hisbullah.
The SLA finds it a great inconvenience to run its camps without electricity.