AG objects in CEJ’s writ petition against Port City project

The Court of Appeal was yesterday informed that the Attorney General had preliminary objections challenging the maintainabillity of a writ petition filed against the Chinese funded Colombo Port City Project.

When the writ petition came up before Court of Appeal President, Justice L.T.B. Dehideniya, the petitioners were directed to make their oral submissions regarding the preliminary objections on August 8.

In its petition, the Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ) cited the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, the Director General of Coast Conservation and Coastal Resources, the Central Environmental Authority, the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka, the Chinese Harbour Engineering Company and the Attorney General as respondents.

The CEJ said a sea area of 575 acres opposite the Galle Face Green was being reclaimed by the Chinese Harbour 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 CEJ said according to the so-called EIA study, the primary objective was only to reclaim 300 acres and the EIA study had been prepared based on that assumption, but the Chinese Harbour Engineering Company had planned to reclaim a sea area of 575 acres which was almost double the area taken in to consideration for the EIA study which was approved by the first and second respondents.

Counsel Ravindranath Dabare with Sugath Atapattu appeared for the petitioner. 

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