The Megapolis Ministry, Colombo Port City and the project contractor China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) have begun inspections of the quarries that will be supplying  material for the Port  City project. According to the SEIA (supplementary EIA), only licensed quarries can be used for the supply and the inspection tours are to ensure that all [...]

The Sunday Times Sri Lanka

Port city officials begin inspecting granite quarry sites


The Megapolis Ministry, Colombo Port City and the project contractor China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) have begun inspections of the quarries that will be supplying  material for the Port  City project.

According to the SEIA (supplementary EIA), only licensed quarries can be used for the supply and the inspection tours are to ensure that all the conditions stipulated in the environment approvals are properly met, according to a media release from the CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd, the project company.

The first of the visits made by the team of officials was led by Nihal Fernando, Deputy Director General of the UDA and Director of the Port City Development Project on November 16. The team included representatives from the Ministry of Megapolis, UDA, CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd (the project company) and CHEC. The visit was made to licensed quarries located in Meegoda and Korathota. Ms. Piyusha Gunasekara, Deputy Project Director and Deputy Director of the UDA and Bimal Priyantha, Project Engineer were also amongst the visiting team.

“Out of the total 250 quarries located in the districts of Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara, only 11 quarries will be used for the supply of quarry material for the Port City Project. According to the report, when considering the total existing licensed quarries in the three districts – Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara, the volume of rock to be obtained from the identified quarries, work out to only 7 per cent and 2.3 per cent of the capacity of quarries in Colombo and Gampaha, respectively, and zero per cent from Kalutara, as the project does not expect to source quarry material from this district. Therefore, the project will only use 4.4 per cent of all existing quarries in these districts,” the release said.

The SEIA done by experts has also analysed traffic related impacts in transporting quarry material to the construction site. Transport hours have been divided into two sessions that avoid peak hours of the day. In the first session, the loading of trucks is to be completed by 6 pm the previous day and they would be parked at the quarry site. The first batch of loaded trucks will start their journey at 4 am from their respective quarry sites and reach the port gate before 7 am. The SEIA has confirmed that there is facility for parking about 75 trucks around the port gate without disturbing moving vehicles along the road. As the gate opens at 7 am, trucks will enter the stockpiling site through a road located inside the port and after unloading, this batch of trucks will leave the Port City site at about 10 am, it said.

“The trucks are expected to reach their respective quarry sites around 12 noon when loading will begin once again, and they would start their journey around 2 pm, in order to reach the Port City site around 4 pm. After unloading, these vehicles would again go to the respective quarry sites for loading and stay at these sites until their journey resumes the next day morning at 4 am. In order to avoid congestion and ensure smooth access to the port, it has been proposed to park the trucks in the vicinity, until the gate is opened. The project company says the fleet would be strictly managed until it reaches the gate without obstructing the entrance,” the release said.

Local fishermen threaten to campaign against Colombo Port city till it’s abandoned

By Quintus Perera 

Media being briefed

China is invading Sri Lanka in a subtle way, warn local fishermen, who say they would be adversely affected with the construction work at the Port City project
in Colombo.

The United Front of the fishermen called a media briefing in Negombo this week to announce that the fishermen are not only against sand mining from any part of Sri Lankan sea but also will oppose construction of this port city and would continue their agitation until the Government abandons the project altogether.

Sajeewa Chamikara, Director, Environment Conservation Trust, said while the Chinese investment through its Communications and Construction Co is only US$1.5 billion, Sri Lanka is contributing by way of supplying sand and rubble and boulders at a massive cost of around $5.7 billion at market value in addition to the adverse social, economic, political and environmental impact on the country as a whole.

He said that they have studied and analysed the project and found that it is immensely damaging to the country and its environment. Further, he pointed out that when this project was started during the earlier government the Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIA) was wrong and it was illegal. Thus when the new government gave the permission to re-commence the construction work, the earlier construction should be deemed illegal.

They have sought  relief through Courts which decided that the EIA report is defective. The agitators are going before courts for further relief  in a bid to get a ruling to stop the entire project.  Aruna Roshantha Fernando, President, All Island Fishermen’s Front said that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and President Maithripala Sirisena during the election campaign before January 8, 2015 promised that they would stop the Port City Construction Project. But now they have openly violated their promise to the Sri Lankan people and should thus resign their positions as they do not have a moral right to continue.

He said that the impact on some parts of the coastal line around Negombo is now felt by sea sand mining for the construction of the Colombo-Negombo expressway and the Colombo Port Development Project since land is already being washed to the sea behind the Basiyawatte school and in some parts of the Thalahena Peruwa (area) and also along the coast of Marawila.

He said that soon houses along the coast in this area would be swallowed by the sea and the tiny land strip separating the sea and the lagoon would vanish.

Sugath Athapattu, Attorney-at-law, Legal Officer, Centre for Environmental Justice, said they went to the Supreme Court and it nullified the EIA report as it is illegal and has ordered to prepare a new – supplementary EIA report.

Rev. Fr Sarath Iddamalgoda, coordinator of the protest campaigns, said that their duty is to make the people aware of the adverse impact on the people’s lives by this
Port City Project.


Advertising Rates

Please contact the advertising office on 011 - 2479521 for the advertising rates.