Sri Lanka bans ’round pin’ plugs from next year to cut electrocutions

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will only allow the import and production of ‘square pin’ plugs and sockets and ban the import of electrical good with round pin or two pin plugs to cut deaths from electrocutions, officials said.

Each year 200 people used to die from electrocution in Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka’s power regulator Damitha Kumarasinghe said.

Though fatalities have been cut down to below 100, the international standard is only about 1 death per million population, he said.

A major cause of deaths has been identified as the use of multi-plugs and the mis-use of sockets to fit various types of plugs used in the country.

From August 16, 2016 the 13 ampere, (G 13A) or square pin plugs and sockets had been standardised in the country by the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka following a public consultation with experts and ordinary members of the public.

The PUCSL and also the Securities and exchange has a process of public consultation before gazetting regulation, unlike Sri Lanka’s Treasury which hatches taxes in secret and gazettes them without parliamentary approval violating the most basic norm of representative government.

Following a grace period of one year, from August 16, 2017 the import and production of electrical equipment with ’round pin’ or ‘two pin’ plugs will be banned.

From August 2018, the sale of such equipment will also be banned. Any existing stock will have to be replaced with square pin plugs before sale.

All new houses will also have to be wired with 13Amp plugs, instead of 5amp plugs.

Domestic manufacturers have agreed to make replacement sockets will be available in ‘square pin’ with a warning that it is 5amp socket.

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Domestic producers have agreed to make standardized, safe conversion plugs will also be available in the market.

Kumarasinghe said the regulator will attempt to make sure that consumers are not exploited by producers who will get a captive market to sell the replacement

Critics says the power domestic cable and equipment are a Mercantilist oligopoly, which is keeping cable prices up in collusion with the government by import duty protection, which is making it more expensive for homeless Sri Lankans to build houses.

Though copper prices have collapsed in the world market, cable prices have not come down. (Colombo/Sept12/2016)

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