In the wake of rising complaints over the environmental pollution caused by Norochcholai Coal Power Plant, a team led by Central Environmental Authority (CEA) Director General Hemantha Jayasinghe will make an inspection tour shortly.
CEA DG Jayasinghe said the Norochcholai plant comes under purview of Wayamba Provincial Environmental Authority. But I have decided to intervene, given the recent backlash. We will check as to how far the long and short term recommendations given to minimise pollution had been attended to,” he said. CEA Environmental Pollution Control Unit Director Dr. Sanjaya Rathnayaka said necessary instructions would be given during the inspection tour and if those were not adhered legal action would be taken against the plant.
NWP Environmental Authority acting Director Saman Lenaduwa confirmed that the Norochcholai plant has been operating without a valid EPL, adding that it would not be renewed till the Supreme Court case is concluded.
A fundamental rights petition filed by Environmental Foundation (Guarantee) Limited is being heard in the Supreme Court. An agreement on measures to address the environmental concerns at Norochcholai Plant was signed recently on the advice of the SC. “A number of long and short term measures are being implemented as per the agreement. There were claims that the plant may also affect Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi. We do not completely brush those claims aside, but we also see a separate agenda behind such claims,” he said. He said NWP Environmental Authority collected samples of what was claimed to be a belt of fly ash in the sea. “The samples were sent to the ITI. The test report is yet come,” he said.