Case filed against Port City project dismissed

The Writ application filed by the Centre for Environmental Justice against the Colombo Port City Project in 2015 was dismissed by the Court of Appeal today.

The Writ application was against the Project Company developing the Colombo Port City Project, Sri Lanka Ports Authority, the Board of Investments and the Government of Sri Lanka siting the project was violating the environmental laws and not following due procedures.

Justice A.H.M.D. Nawaz the President of Appeal Court has dismissed and cleared all legal proceedings related to the case which was the last legal case against the Port City project.

Suren Gnanaraj, SSC, appeared for the Government and Dr. Asanga Gunawansa, Attorney-at-Law, with Dilshan Jayasuriya and Shenella Fonseka appeared for the Project Company.

Ravindranath Dabare Attorney-at-Law represented the petitioner Hemantha Withanage of Centre for Environmental Justice.

The petitioner said a sea area of 575 acres opposite the Galle Face Green was being reclaimed by the Chinese Harbor Engineering Company for the Port City Project.

It said the Director General of Coast Conservation and Coastal Resource had issued a no-objection letter to the Sri Lanka Ports Authority in relation to the so called Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report in September 2014 while the second respondent has issued the final approval for the so-called EIA study pertaining to the project and they have approved the so-called Environmental Management plan submitted by the Chinese Company.

The China funded project came under strong criticism when the former Government was in office and work on it had been suspended for a short period soon after Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe took office in 2015.

In December last year the Colombo Port City was formally declared as a part of Sri Lanka.

The 269 hectare reclaimed land at Galle Face was later opened for investments. (Colombo Gazette)

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