Environmental lobby rises against proposal mini hydro plant



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By Ifham Nizam


International experts have joined hands with the Centre for Environment and Nature Studies (CENS) to oppose the proposed Theberton Mini Hydro Power Plant to be undertaken by Sapthakaanya Mini Hydro Company on the Maskeliya River directly above the Laxapana Waterfall.


The proposed hydro power projects that would destroy the Peak Wilderness Sanctuary the Kelani River, alleges Patrick Kirkby, Project Manager and Environmental Ambassador– BudderUp.


Kirkby, an environmental specialist from Australia, who has completed water quality and biodiversity studies along the river, from its source at Adam’s Peak to its estuary in Colombo.


CENS Convenor Ravindra Kariyawasam told The Island that despite their opposition and informing the relevant ministries regarding same, there had been no positive response from the authorities.


He said that they were looking into the possibility of taking legal action against the project.


The Maskelyia River is located within the UNESCO World Heritage Peak Wilderness Sanctuary, which is listed for its internationally significant cultural and natural values.


The Maskeliya river is a tributary of the Kelani River, which supplies 80 per cent of the water consumed by Colombo and supports the livelihoods and food source for millions of people.


The proposed development would result in drying of a long section of the Maskeliya River, resulting in ecological devastation, and loss of many rare and endemic species, Kariyawasam says.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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