Posted on May 17th, 2016


According to the reports published in the Sunday times that the EIA report has been prepared on Sampur Power plant by a Delhi based company (M/S Mantec consultants PVT Limited) with local officials from Central Environmental Authority. This report has been prepared Under the topic Socio-Economic Environment”. The report notes that the land is free from human settlements or any other livelihood related activities except ten families living beyond 250m distance from the boundary. There are no other socio-economic infrastructure facilities established in the viscinity of the land. The residential properties have been portrayed as abandoned land and tanks are no longer in use. There are 17 tanks Allai tank is the major Tank only few metres away from the Proposed plant and none of them are abandoned tanks for information.

The former chairman of the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA), Dr. Hiran Jayawardene, who had been appointed to the EIA committee as a local expert, later he resigned due to the internal manipulation of the committee, which failed to recognise the severe threats  to the environment caused by the proposed plant to the eco-marine resources in the Trincomalee harbour.

Dr.Jayawardene was not happy with the proceedings as the developers were not ready to listen to his views how the Plant is going to destroy marine resource Dr. Jayewardene, who currently holds the post of Secretary-General at of Indian Ocean Marine Affairs Co-operation (IOMAC), said after he studied the ecology of the Koddiyar Bay and Shell Bay he recommended that the then government preserve those resources as unique in the island but there was no follow up action .He says corals located in the surrounding areas of the  construction sites might be completely damaged along with other soft algae and red, brown and green encrusting and filamentous algae.

For information that a 550 megawatt plant needs 2.2 billion gallons of water daily as it uses for Cooling it is raised  to 4 degrees C on average before being discharged into Koddiyar bay which will destroy the entire marine life Similar projects have been signed BY NTPC with the Government of Bangladesh. The Rampal Power project in Bangladesh violates the environmental impact assessment guidelines for Coal-Based Thermal Power Plants. It was the same with the Sampur Power Project of Srilanka the project was approved without a proper EIA report according to the former Minister Mr.Patali Champika Ranawake the then Minister for Power and Energy.

On August 1, 2013, Department of Energy of Bangladesh approved construction, but then change its stance and set 50 preconditions for the project. But the location of the plant, 14 kilometers from the Sundarbans, violates one of the basic preconditions and such projects   must be outside a 25-kilometer radius from the outer periphery of an Ecologically sensitive area. With peoples protests in Bangladesh the Project still drags with no end.

We would like to know what are set conditions laid for the Sampur power plant so that the Srilankan public will be more enlighten and aware before implementation. We are aware that Indian coal is substandard comparing to other the coal producing countries like Australia Indonesia and South Africa and what guarantees that India will not export their product as they have the controlling power in all matters in the Sampur Power Plant not the government of Srilanka

According to a report published in New Age, in past few years the Indian central and state authorities  deal with environmental concerns in India denied the proposal of NTPC to set up a similar coal- fired Thermal Power Plant at Gajmara in Gadarwara of Madhya Pradesh over a number of points.

NTPC failed to get approval of the Indian Central Green Panel (Green Tribunal) in 2010 for the construction of the coal-fired thermal power plant because a vast portion of double-crop agricultural lands reportedly comprised the site.

In 1985, Indian government created the Ministry of Environment and Forests after Bhopal accident.

This ministry is the central administrative organization in India for regulating and ensuring Environmental protection act of the country. Starting in the 1990s, reforms were introduced.

For the first time in Indian history, major air pollutant concentrations have dropped every five years. Between 1992 and 2010, satellite data confirms India’s forest coverage has increased by 7%.

With all protection laws in India a survey conducted with the World Bank, report says the Coal Power Plants cost hospitals $3.3-$4.6bn (£2.2-£3.1bn) a year — a figure certain to rise as the Coal industry struggles to keep up with demand for electricity.

India’s breakneck pace of industrialisation is causing a public health crisis with 80-120,000 premature deaths and 20million new asthma cases a year due to air pollution from Coal Power Plants a Greenpeace report warns.

The study finds the impacts are concentrated in central and northern India. One region, covering clusters in West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar, saw between 7,900 and 11,000 of all premature deaths.

  • plant pollution, costing the country about $4.6 billion, according to a groundbreaking new study released today. After The Delhi and Kolkata regions were found to be the most polluted but Mumbai, western Maharashtra, Eastern Andhra Pradesh and the Chandrapur– Nagpur region in Vidarbha were all affected.

The case studies surrounding Bhopal found toxic substances such as lead cadmium mercury in ground water. There are reports that more than 350 tons toxic waste are still scattered around the site and continue to pollute the soil and ground water in the areas leads to cancer, congenital defects are found with patients in the area. The studies found that the toxins continue to rise in the ground water and the residents have to use with any lac of alternatives.

Similar case studies have done in the United States of America on a 550 megawatt coal Power plant where the ash content is far less compared to the Indian Coal and collection of data annually gave the following results. The impact on the environment and the off side effects are given below for information to the reader 10,000 tons of Sulphur dioxides. Sulphur dioxide (SOx) is the main cause of acid rain, which damages forests, lakes and buildings. 10,200 tons of nitrogen oxide. Nitrogen oxide (NOx) is a major cause of smog, and also a cause of acid rain 225pounds of arsenic, 114 pounds of lead, 4 pounds of cadmium, and many other toxic heavy metals. Mercury emissions from coal plants are suspected of contaminating lake and rivers in northern and northeast states and Canada. In Wisconsin alone, more than 200 lakes and rivers are contaminated with mercury. Health officials warn against eating fish caught in these waters, since mercury can cause birth defects, brain damage and other ailments.

Acid rain also causes mercury poisoning by leaching mercury from rocks and making it available in a form that can be taken up by organisms. Srilanka has not done much research with coal ash and toxic waste matter dump after burning of coal. Studies done at the nuclear science department of University of Colombo presented a paper in 2013 at the annual sessions of Srlanka advancement of science auditorium in Colombo 2013 to contain uranium, thorium and potassium in the Norochole Coal power plant in the Puttalam district.

With another 600/megawatt plant proposed at Sampur by the Japanese will add more pollution to the environment and it will be doubled and will be a ghost village and a barren land with no vegetation. And the entire koddiyar bay will be black with coal ash pollutants.

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, in the United States in an average year, a typical coal plant (500 megawatts) generates the 3.7 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), an amount equivalent to chopping down 161 million trees. CO2 pollution is the principal human cause of global warming and climate change.

Over to you Mr. President you come from agricultural area from Polonaruwa district don’t you think the ten thousand tons of Sulphur dioxide and ten thousand nitrous oxide emissions from Coal Power Plants with north east monsoons will destroy your areas due to acid rains and are you aware of the deceases caused by all the pollutants? Well you came to know about Glyphosate which causes kidney deceases only after 20years. I have discussed case studies done in India and the US based on true scientific facts. India is protecting his environment with its own laws but Still 120,000 people die annually due to pollution from Coal Powered Plants according to World Bank reports.

You can protect this beautiful Island taking the right decisions. Well you know Trincomalle harbour is one of the beautiful harbours in the world because of its location with a submarine canyon with wall heights of 1300metres and deepest in the world which can house the American 7th fleet without detecting from the Sky with its forest cover and greenery surrounding the bay. Well the Blue waters of Koddiyar bay has a historical significance to all Srilankans because of the fact that Robert Knox the first Englishman captured with his followers and brought to kandyan kingdom and kept as a prisoner till he escaped during the Dutch period. Don’t you think the blue waters of Koddiyar Bay would be Black in twenty years? if we installed a Coal Power Plant Sampur power plant is not going to ensure our energy security; rather it may aggravate our existing problems. We are undergoing a heat wave and a drought this may come in once in 20 years or 50 years.

well our  immediate problem can solve with coal power plants at what cost.? Who are the beneficiaries whether India or Srilanka. Why India is forcing on Srilanka to implement the project obviously the beneficiaries are India. India likes to have Sampur for stratigic reasons and India have objectives and also have sinister motives Unlike similar projects signed with other countries Srilanka eventually owns at the end of a stipulated period and there is no such provision in Sampur agreement with India the scale weighed in favor of India We are signatories to UN conventions signed on the 24 April 2016 on climate change on carbon emissions.

We have to bring down carbon emissions by 30% in 2030 16 years from now on. Is it worth to spend a colossal amount of dollars taking loans from abroad to build coal power plants. By 2050 there want be any Cold power plants in this world as the world would go for renewable energy. If India still forces Srilanka to have this plant in Trincomallee no doubt they are violating their own laws in other countries using their Mighty power.


Pathirana H.D.N.C. India finds a market for their substandared coal Lanka web.02/08/2013

Pathirana HDNC. Sampur power project. Economic Investment. Sunday times 21 july 2013

Preedman Lisa. Coal Fired Power Cause 100.000 Premature Deaths Climate Wire Scientific American march 11 -2013

Rubatheesan. S  Sampur Power Project Despite Protests. Sunday times 17th april

Moshida Sultana Rampal Power Plant. Daily Star 11 June 2013


  1. Raj Says:

    environmental sir, not ENVREMENTAL

  2. NAK Says:

    Sampur coal power project is now officially shelved. There won’t be any other development in that land adjescent to the trincomalee habour as it has been reserved for a US military base.
    President Mahinda Rajapakse tried establish an industrial zone in that land to prevent it being used as a US base and that is one of the reasons he had to go.

  3. Hasala Dharmawardena Says:

    If the author or Dr. Jayawardena alleges that the simulations and the studies done for the EIA were wrong please state why you say so. The EIA is a publicly available document. If Dr Jayawardena did do a simulation and a scientific study before coming to his conclusion then it is best if he can publicly share it. Just because 4C increase in temperature is occurring for so many billions of water used in the cooling system, it is no any proof that the marine ecology is getting destroyed. These are all relative terms. For example addin a gallon of water heated to +4C in a tank of 100 gallons will not have a significant influence on the whole system. The conditions that the plant should adhere to are as per the environment laws of the country and clearly defined. If anyone can prove that the laws are getting violated it can be addressed legally. All in all the picture the author paints on the effect of having coal power plant needs to be proven by a scientific study. It is easy for anyone to speculate but it would be foolish to take decisions based on those speculations! It is imperative that we develop our country in a sustainable manner. However the decisions need to be based on solid studies and analysis done using scientific methods. We also need to understand that cheap power, be it coal/solar or LNG is a main requirement for our counntry to develop further.

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