Petition before court seeking cessation of work on Port City Project

Petition before court seeking cessation of work on Port City Project

Written by Bella Dalima

06 Mar, 2015 | 9:54 pm

The Centre for Environmental Justice, filed a writ petition with the Court of Appeal on Thursday seeking an order to halt work on the Colombo Port City Project.

The petitioner claims that the project gives rise to a number of issues.

The petition was filed at the Court of Appeal on Friday morning.

Chairman of Centre for Environmental Justice, Attorney-at-Law Ravindra Dabare said:

As an institution that is duty bound to protect the environment, we pointed out to the court the absence of an Environmental Impact Assessment Report and the fact that whatever environmental feasibility studies were conducted were not done in keeping with an accepted procedure. There are problems with the sand and stone being used to reclaim the land. Also there is the problem of what to do with the waste that will be generated after this is built.

While a decision has been made by cabinet to temporarily suspend work on the Port City project, construction continued on Thursday as well.

Menahwile, China has said it is continuing to pay close attention to how the situation develops in Sri Lanka.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying, speaking at a press briefing in Beijing on Friday, expressed hope that Chinese company’s legal interests would be safeguarded.

Hua Chunying said that China will continue to pay close attention to how the situation develops, and China hopes Sri Lanka can properly solve relevant issues out of consideration for the fundamental interests of its national development and maintaining the confidence and enthusiasm of Chinese companies investing in Sri Lanka and safeguard Chinese company’s legal interests.

An investigation has been initiated into the non-payment of dues to Airport and Aviation Services Sri Lanka Limited, for the long term parking of a Boeing 727, which has been the subject of much controversy.

This cargo plane, allegedly used by the aviation company, purportedly owned by MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena, has reportedly been parked at the BIA for close to a year.

Issuing a statement recently, the aviation company in question, noted that the aircraft had been leased from another company, and that the relevant agreement had been annulled in August 2012.

However, the aircraft is still parked at the BIA.

Meanwhile, President’s Counsel Faizer Mustapha said that the aviation company allegedly owned by MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena, should not have been allowed to use the terminal at the Ratmalana Airport, as a result of the non-payment of dues.

The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Aviation announced recently that the aviation company purportedly owned by Sajin de Vass Gunawardena, had been granted permission to use the Ratmalana Airport for its operations for a period of two weeks.

The Ministry also said that the company had failed to make payments in excess of Rs.24 million..

The Ministry also noted however, that the new administration had taken steps to immediately charge the money owed to the state.

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