Sampur’s families and other burning questions as SL strides towards coal power plants

Sampur’s families and other burning questions as SL strides towards coal power plants

Sampur’s families and other burning questions as SL strides towards coal power plants

Written by Tharushan Fernando

03 Mar, 2016 | 9:58 pm

A case filed by three families who lost their houses for the construction of the pipeline that is to carry water to the Sampur Coal Power Plant was taken up in court again on Thursday.

The complainants note that if they are given an alternative, it needs to be one that is suitable to live in.

A case was filed in the District Court by the Muttur Divisional Secretary requesting that these people be evicted as the lands belong to the state. However, the people stated that the lands belong to them.

When the case was taken up on Thursday, it was further postponed to April 24.

The proposed Sampur Coal Power Plant has once again come to the fore following the adverse effects that is poses to the economy and the environment.The project was launched citing that low-cost electricity would be provided by the year 2017, to meet the increasing demand.

Sri Lanka’s second coal-fired thermal power plant is implemented as a joint venture of Ceylon Electricity Board and National Thermal Power Corporation of India.

The Joint Venture Company has been incorporated as Trincomalee Power Company Limited. A power purchase agreement, implementation agreement, BOI agreement, land lease agreement and coal supply agreement were signed for this project.

The total estimated cost of the project is USD 512 Million.

The project is expected to commence within a year of signing the agreement and generation of electricity is expected to commence in 2018.

The power generated will be transmitted to the national grid through high voltage transmission lines from Sampur through Habarana to the Veyangoda Grid Substations.

Experts are of the view that, at a time when China and the United States have decided to shut-down their coal power plants, Sri Lanka going ahead with such a project, raises suspicions.

The Ceylon Electricity Boards proposed long-term plan to construct thirteen coal power plants by 2030 was rejected by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC).

Energy experts point out that, emission of coal in power plants releases a plethora of poisonous gases to the environment.

They point out that constructing another coal power plant, without a proper study on the poisonous gas released from the Norochcholai Power Plant, is dangerous. Environmentalists says that the poisonous gas released from two coal power plants would spread far and wide with the monsoon rains.They add that this not only poses a threat to the health of the locals in those areas but would also affect the agriculture in the area.

Experts believe that when the world is heading towards renewable energy, Sri Lanka must not move towards using coal to generate power.
India , which funds the proposed Sampur Coal Power Plant, is currently more focussed on generating electricity using wind and solar power.

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