Plunder of Sri Lanka’s water by BOI Approved Indian Cos
Posted on May 24th, 2015

Attention of the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resource:

Please see the letter written by a concerned citizen which has been published in the Sunday Times
edition of May 17, 2015.  The writer has stated that Indian Companies are misusing their BOI licences
by drawing fresh water from ground wells to mix fruit pulp imported from India for re-export and sale
in the Indian market.  These companies are not making any payment to the Sri Lankan authorities for
water drawn from the ground source, and furthermore employ Indian nationals in their fruit juice filling
plants established in Sri Lanka. Apparently the water table in the area has been affected depriving
local villagers from accessing this water for their personal and household needs.

Shall appreciate if the relevant authorities look into this matter on an urgent basis and take action
to rectify the position, where Sri Lanka is losing her valuable water without any benefits from the
raw materials and labour factors, as the latter too are being imported from India.

Yours sincerely,

Mahinda Gunasekera

Stop the plunder of Lanka’s pure water

In the past, bottlers of fresh fruit drinks encouraged the local fruit industry to plant and bought the fresh fruit from the producers. Not so today, even the local fresh fruit drink bottlers have moved on, they don’t buy anything locally.

Instead, hundreds of container loads of cheap fruit pulp are imported from India and mixed with fresh clean Sri Lankan water. A small quantity is sold in the local market and the rest is exported.

As the water in India is suspected to be badly polluted, many Indian companies are relocating in Sri Lanka through the many concessions afforded by the Board of Investment, just to gain access to the unlimited supplies of clean water and to avert the cost of purifying their water.
They import container loads of fruit pulp from India, mix it with clean fresh water extracted from the ground using deep wells with minimal purification and export it back to India and elsewhere. They do not pay one cent for the precious water they extract. Sri Lanka and the people of Sri Lanka do not benefit from their presence, as the precious water is being given away free. This is obscene. These companies are mostly automated, employ a minimal number of workers, mostly Indian and are concerned only in the maximum profit they make.

With the world going into an extremely serious water crisis in the future, there could be even wars for water. The United States space agency NASA has warned that California’s water will only last for one more year.

Instead of protecting and preserving the future water security of this country, we dish it out for free. This does not mean that water should be paid for either. No, the export of water should be banned.

The indiscriminate pumping of water has affected the water quality in surrounding village wells and significantly reduced the water table. It came to a head with the villages in the vicinity of a factory complaining that they had lost their sources of water.

If the Government has any interest in the people of this country, their future and the generations to come, it should take urgent measures to ensure the water security of this country and advise the BOI and other approving agencies to discourage or stop giving permission to any individual or company that exports water. Those who have been already given permission should be instructed to stop operations within a given period of time.
Access to clean potable water is the birthright of the citizens of this country. If it is not protected now, tomorrow will be too late.

Ashley de Vos

2 Responses to “Plunder of Sri Lanka’s water by BOI Approved Indian Cos”

  1. Sirih Says:

    Some idiot at BOC at director level brought indian consulting company to advise how to save money and got in to a tangle with me since after winning bid for banks ATM’s these consultant want to give the bid to 3 rd highest indian company .
    I went and told BOC board if you do this I will put all your names to COPE and will have indians arrested since they bring corrupt practice to SL.
    That threat did the job and they backed off. I wonder why BOC, board director bring in cheap indian consultants that has no clue how SL do business. These locals are on the take from indians.

  2. Ratanapala Says:

    Fresh water is will be the most precious commodity on planet earth.

    Sri Lanka should allow to all land upwards of 5000 feet above sea level to be left to go back into forest. All land now covered by tea plantations above this level should be treated in this manner. This way we will be able to retain water in the ground and release it slowly for use. This will also stop washing away of top soil and silting of steams and rivers and resulting flooding in low lying areas.

    Sri Lanka could be a net exporter of fresh water at a price higher than that of petroleum litre per litre and bring in a return much higher than even tea. The global warming will bring more precipitation as we are witnessing now and there will not be any shortage of water in Sri Lanka.

    We must not allow the Indian vermin to tap into our resources now or ever.

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