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Sri Lanka to license electricians, tighten controls on new connections

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s power regulator is proposing tighter regulations and licensing of electricians and controls and additional processes on those trying to get a new connections from power utilities and start a new construction.

Electricians will have to be licensed by the Construction Industry Development Authority (CIDA) in the future, though an existing 21,000 electricians will be given a 03 year temporary license.

The new regulations are coming because of about 53 electrocutions happened in 2017 due to faulty wiring.

"Sri Lanka has reported 106 electrocutions in the year 2017. 55 percent of the electrocutions have occurred due to the issues of wiring, maintenance and non-standards," Director General of Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka, Damitha Kumarasinghe said in a statement.

"With the system is in place, the professional status of the electricians will be uplifted as well as the safety & quality of the electrical installation will be assured."

The licensed electrician will have to issue a ‘certificate’. Ceylon Electricity Board will refuse a connection unless the certificate is produced.

In addition to licensing electricians, the wiring of a 3-phase connection will have to be designed by a chartered engineer, pushing up costs and regulations for house-builders.

It was not immediately clear why an electrician or an architect could not be licensed to design a 3-phase connection, reducing the steps, processes and costs in starting construction.

However the PUCSL has started a public consultation where people can make comments. A public consultation is also planned, where experienced electricians who risk losing their livelihoods could make representations.

Those with a National Vocational Qualification 3 (NVQ 3) and above can obtain a permanent license from CIDA within a day after proving their knowledge and evaluation at an evaluation panel, the regulator said.





For experienced electricians not having a professional qualification there will be a ‘process facilitated by CIDA’ to prove their competency and apply for a new license.

With the permanent license, electricians can design, wire, test, the installation of domestic wiring (30 amps Signal phase) and issue a certificate to get the electrical connection which is accepted by CEB and LECO.

Electricians will move up from an apprentice, junior electrician, senior electrician, master electrician and utility electrician.

The Utility electricians are recognized to install and maintain the distribution lines of 1000 Volt to 33000 Volt.

Kumarasinghe said the licensing procedure will improve the social status of electricians. (Colombo/Mar05/2018)

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