Environmentalists, Mannar Bishop file FR petition against Wind Power Project
Posted on June 12th, 2024

 LAKMAL SOORIYAGODA Courtesy The Daily Mirror

Colombo, June 12 (Daily Mirrro) – Three eminent environmentalists together with the Bishop of Mannar Rev. Fr. Bastian have filed a fundamental rights petition before the Supreme Court against the procurement and construction of the proposed 250 MW Mannar Wind Power Project in Mannar that is reported to have been awarded to Adani Green Energy Pte. Ltd. 

The petitioners Rohan Pethiyagoda, Prof. Nimal Gunatilleke, Prof. Sarath Kotagama and Bishop of Mannar Rev. Fr. Bastian filed this petition as a public interest litigation naming 67 parties including the Cabinet of Ministers, the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority (SLSEA), the Central Environmental Authority, the Board of Investments, the Ceylon Electricity Board, the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka and the Attorney General as respondents. 

The petition raises concerns regarding the credibility of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) carried out in respect of the project, the role played by the SLSEA, raises certain procedural issues in the awarding of the purported contract, and questions the characterisation of the project as a Government-to-Government deal. It also calls into question the basis for the negotiated tariff to be fixed at USD 8.26 cents per kilowatt-hour for a period of 20 years when the EIA conducts its assessment based on a cost of USD 4.6 cents, potentially causing considerable financial loss to the country and a burden on consumers. 

In seeking their relief, the petitioners pray that the Supreme Court declare that there is a violation of the fundamental rights of the petitioners and citizenry at large, declare that the decisions made to award the project to Adani as wrongful, and calls for any consequential actions undertaken, to be declared illegal. 

The petition states that the case has been filed to further the national interest, to preserve and protect public property, including the environment, flora and fauna, public finances and to safeguard the rights and freedoms of the public of Sri Lanka and its future generations.

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