Moves to solve problems of Uma Oya affected | Page 2 | Daily News

Moves to solve problems of Uma Oya affected

The Attorney General yesterday informed the Supreme Court that the Secretary to the Ministry of Mahaweli Development had compiled a report regarding the measures taken by authorities targeting the people affected by the Uma Oya multi-purpose project.

Deputy Solicitor General Viraj Dayaratne appearing for the respondents informed that the Ministry of Mahaweli Development has taken measures to solve such issues including the drinking water problem, housing problem and crop damages due to project.

The Supreme Court three-judge-bench comprising Chief Justice Priyasath Dep, Justice Priyantha Jayawardena and Justice Vijith Malalgoda fixed the petition for March 27.

The Deputy Solicitor General made these remarks consequent to a Fundamental Rights petition filed by the Centre for Environmental Justice, and four individuals, including M. D. P. Manatunga, who are residents of the Bandarawela area who have been victimised as a result of the Uma Oya multi-purpose project.

The Attorney General had earlier submitted in Court, a copy of the Cabinet memorandum issued regarding the Uma Oya project.

The Cabinet memorandum submitted by the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment had identified the main socio-economic problems in the areas affected by the Uma Oya project.

The Cabinet memorandum stated that the ingress of water into the head face tunnel which occurred on December 4, 2014 resulted in some socio-economic problems including drying up of wells, developing cracks in houses, damaging crops around the areas of water ingress into tunnel located in the District Secretariat areas of Bandarawela and Ella.

The petitioners claim that as a result of the Uma Oya project, not only have their homes and crops been destroyed, but they have lost access to clean drinking water, citing this as a violation of their fundamental rights. Secretary to the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, N. Rupasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Irrigation and Agriculture, the Central Environment Authority and the Attorney General have been named as respondents in the petition.

Counsel Ravindranath Dabare with Sugath Atapattu, Prabhani Samarweera and Chathurika Sewwandi appeared for the petitioners.

Deputy Solicitor General Viraj Dayaratne appeared for the Attorney General. 


 

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