CA prevents elevated highway construction over wetlands

CA prevents elevated highway construction over wetlands

CA prevents elevated highway construction over wetlands

Written by Zulfick Farzan

21 Feb, 2022 | 7:39 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st); Sri Lanka’s Court of Appeal on Monday (21) issued an order temporarily preventing the construction of a 4-lane elevated highway from the New Kelani Bridge to Athurugiriya, across the Thalangama Wetlands.

The Thalangama (Talangama) wetlands are an environmental protection area and a biodiversity hotspot in a rapidly urbanizing environment.

The Minister of Highways and officials were prohibited from engaging in any form of construction in the Wetlands, without submitting a proper Environment Impact Assessment report, to the Court of Appeal.

The Road Development Authority and the RDA Director General were ordered by the Court to explore an alternative site for the construction of the elevated highway and report to the court via a report on or before the 31st of March 2022.

The orders were made by Justice Sobhita Rajakarunwa after considering a petition filed by one R. M. Suwandaratne from Battaramulla, who seek to invalidate the gazette issued by the Environment Minister permitting the construction of the 4-lane elevated highway from the New Kelani Bridge to Athurugiriya, across the Thalangama Wetlands.

The Ministry of Environment, Road Development Authority, RDA Chairman, Minister of Highways, Attorney General, among 11 others were named as the respondents in the application.

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