EIA fails to address Port City issues

Published : 9:00 am  December 10, 2015 | No comments so far |  |  (1256) reads | 

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BY YOSHITHA PERERA

The recent Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) on the Colombo Port City Project has failed to provide suggestions to reduce the severe impact on the environment by the project, the Environment Conservation Trust (ECT) said yesterday. The Director of the ECT, Sajeewa Chamikara said that compared to the previous report, the recent EIA had covered a wider area of the project although the latest report failed to provide solutions as to environmental issues. The previous EIA which came under fire had the same shortcomings, he said. An EIA report should examine the social, economical and environmental impact of a project, which was also the main reason for preparing a new EIA. “This report has not done so.

The report has not looked at the breeding grounds for fish that would be destroyed and the report contains fewer details than expected in the area of marine resources and the impact to it,” he said. The new EIA report also failed to provide a proper impact assessment for areas that would provide supplies for the project. Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Director General of the Coast Conservation Department Prabath Chandrakeerthi said that the project was estimated to use 65 million cubic meters of sand and 3.5 million cubic meters of boulders which would be obtained from 11 identified quarries in Gampaha and two areas in the sea.

The EIA report is available to the public from 11 government institutions and reviews should be submitted to these institutions within 30 days,” Chandrakeerthi said. Earlier this month Minister of Megapolis and Western Development speaking of the Project said the initial project plan would not be implemented

Commenting on the above, Chamikara said the new EIA had not looked at the social and environmental impact to the residents of the areas that would supply the raw materials for this project. “The EIA report is available to the public from 11 government institutions and reviews should be submitted to these institutions within 30 days,” Chandrakeerthi said. Earlier this month Minister of Megapolis and Western Development speaking of the Project said the initial project plan would not be implemented. “We will implement a new innovative plan instead,” he said. The former regime had not prepared a conclusive EIA report, the Minister said.

“There were several issues in the previous port city project. We noticed that there was an issue with regard to the ownership of land and that some documents had not been prepared in a proper legal manner,” he said. The Port City was not an individual project; it should be a part of the current Western Regional Megapolis Planning Project, the Minister said.

 

 

The government had prepared the new Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) and the Supplementary EIA reports for the port city project and it would be available for inspection at Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment. Public and civil organization could review these reports until January 13 before the proposal submitted to the Technical Committee that would review the report before it was presented to the Committee of Secretaries. The final report of the project would be submitted to Cabinet by the Western Development and Megapolis Minister Patali Champika Ranwaka.