Negombo Lagoon facing erosion due to sand mining - MEPA | Daily News

Negombo Lagoon facing erosion due to sand mining - MEPA

Sea sand mining in Negombo to build the Colombo Port City will inevitably lead to erosion in Negombo lagoon, Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) General Manager Dr. Terney Pradeep Kumara said.

Observing that the depth of the seas off Negombo is about 60-70 metres now after sucking sand from dredgers for the Port City constructions, he said erosion in that coastal area is expected to aggravate.

“Any claims that there would be no impact on Negombo lagoon by sea sand mining was without a proper study,” he said adding that the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report on the Port City has not duly addressed this matter.

Dr. Pradeep Kumara said action would have to be taken to clear the blockage of the Beira Lake outfall daily following the Port City construction.

He also highlighted that there is a serious risk of marine pollution from the Port City sewerage. “As per the Concession Agreement, the Sri Lankan government should accept the Port City sewerage. It has to be treated and discharged to the sea. Treating this sewerage is not an easy task. We already have a serious problem of dumping untreated sewerage to the sea from areas such as Mount Lavinia, Wellawatte and Modera. The levels of fecal coliform bacteria in water exceed the stated international levels. This problem will be exacerbated by the sewage from the Colombo Port City,” he said.

Dr. Pradeep Kumara was speaking at a media workshop on ‘Conservation of Corals and Marine Environment’ organised by the MEPA in Trincomalee parallel to World Ocean Day which fell on June 8. He however dismissed the claims that the Port City construction blocked the ‘longshore drift’ and that it would lead to erosion. “It is from the Colombo South Harbour construction that the longshore drift was blocked. Nobody spoke about it at that time. The Port City was constructed on the shade of Colombo South Harbour and therefore it does not lead to erosion,” he said.

He also pointed out that there was no large-scale impact on marine biodiversity due to land filling for the construction of the Port City. “The marine biodiversity in shallow waters in the seas off Colombo has already been destroyed due to pollution caused by human activities and damage due to ship movements. I would like to call them as underwater burial grounds.”

“The Port City was constructed on such an ocean land. There was no marine bio-diversity in that area to lose. However, we proposed that the Ports Authority not anchor ships in four identified areas namely, Athnagulpita, Gingiripita, Yakampiya and Adinapita, as ships could damage those marine environs,” he said. 


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