SC reserves order in appeal against RDA

by Chitra Weerarathna

The Supreme Court yesterday, reserved the order, in two appeal applications, filed by some residents of Akmeemana and Bandaragama, against the Road Development Authority and a few other respondents, regarding an issue pertaining to the construction of the Colombo-Matara Express Highway.

The petitioners had said that the RDA refused to do an environmental impact assessment study, on the deviation from the originally approved plan for the construction of this Highway.

The Central Environmental Authority had done an environment, impact assessment study on the original plan. Subsequently in some areas, the Road Development Authority deviated from the original plan, but had refused to do an environment impact study on the deviation. The petitioners, said this refusal was arbitrary and mala-fide. An environment impact study on the deviation was recommended by a consultative committee, the petitions said.

M. A. Sumanthiran with Viran Corea appeared for the villagers of Akmeemana, D. S. Wijesinghe P.C., with Dr. Jayantha de Almeida Guneratne, Mohammad Adamaly and Kishali Pinto Jayewardene, appeared for the villagers of Bandaragama.

Shibly Aziz P.C., appeared for the Road Development Authority. The Deputy Solicitor General Mrs. B. J. Tilakaratne, appeared for the Minister of Lands.

The Bench comprised, Justice Mark Fernando, Justice Ameer Ismail and Justice C. V. Wignaswaran.