Written by Staff Writer
26 Nov, 2015 | 5:02 am
Incidents of mini-hydro projects under construction causing inconveniences to locals in many areas were reported over the recent past.
One such area in Gedagala. The following is an issue that residents of Gedagala have to face as a result of such a construction.
On Saturday, News 1st reported on the large deforestation that had taken place at the Sinharaja Rainforest for the construction of a hydro power-plant. Four days after the report on Sinharaja, another such incident was reported.
News 1st made its way in to the Ayagama Divisional Secretariat bordering the Kalutara and Ratnapura districts in search of a mini hydro power plant that is being constructed by building a dam across the Hulkiridola water way.
Footage captured by our cameras show the fate that had befallen the forest reserve located on either side of this water way due to the construction of a hydro power-plant.
Milla, Hora and many other trees of significant importance had been felled to make way for this construction.
A local resident stated that the government officials are asleep since since they do not take any action against the natural forest that is being harmed by backhoe-loaders to mine for sand.
The Director of the Central Environment Authority for the Sabaragamuwa Province and officials arrived at the location, when News 1st was here. (Please watch video)
“… from where did you get this ? …”
“… This is what is included in the letter of approval given by you …”
A local Resident stated that the truth is not being shown to the people since it is approved that the hydro power plant cites that that there is no paddy cultivation there but in reality there is.
As it has been proposed to construct another hydro power-plant in Kukuleganga , not far from the location of this construction site, locals fear that the Hulkiridola water way would disappear forever.
“… I assure you that the waterway will not disappear. The Divisional Secretary must note that the land is from the reservation. If that had been done, we can inquire as to whether the construction has gone beyond limits …”
“… The Divisional Secretary says otherwise …”
“…. Has this not been given like that? …”
“… A permit was given. What has happened it the illegal sand mining and timber felling. We will take legal action …”
“… But, legal action has not been taken …”
“… When the Kukulegama river over flows , one cannot reach Ayagama. If the Hulkiridola also breaks its banks we will not be able to move. People are starving for weeks. They are coming here and taking away the resources …”
“… The construction of these two power-plants must not harm the villages nor the environment. This will only bring destruction to us …”
Speaking to News 1st, the Central Environment Authority says that a team comprising of all respective institutions will visit the area in question to look in to the issues surrounding the construction of the hydro power plant.
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