Dipped product given two lands to choose one

By Mario Andree

 Following President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s order that the Dipped Products factory, which was accused of contaminating the ground water surrounding the Rathupaswala area in Weliweriya, be relocated, the Board of Investment (BoI) has identified and submitted two suitable locations to the company.

The President ordered the relocation of the factory following a military crackdown on a protest against ground water contamination believed to be caused by the factory. Three persons were killed in the incident. Minister of Investment Promotion Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said the BoI had identified and submitted two plots of land, consisting 4.5 acres and 6.5 acres, in the BoI industrial zone and the company would have to select one of them for relocation.

The Minister said a four months notice had been given to the factory to relocate and in future factories would be established only in industrial zones, to protect the people and gain the much needed investments to develop the country.

He said that there was no significant proof that the contamination of the ground water in the area was caused by the factory, it could be some other reason. However the shift would be for the best interests of the residents.

Dipped Products Factory, in a statement on August 29 said, "The factory was opened for non-production related activities soon after the multi-stakeholder meeting with the President of Sri Lanka held on 12th August 2013. As per the consensus reached at this meeting, the Company has already requested the BoI for their assistance in identifying a suitable BoI Zone to which the Factory can be relocated within an agreed time frame. In line with the consensus arrived at the multi-stakeholder meeting, the factory is now in a position to resume its production operation for an interim period pending its relocation, after consulting the relevant higher authorities in this regard."

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