Compensation, re-location for 400 families | Daily News


CPC Sapugaskanda refinery pipeline repair:

Compensation, re-location for 400 families

The Cabinet of Ministers has decided to allow the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation to replace a controversial 140-meter stretch of dilapidated fuel pipelines between Colombo Port and the CPC plants in Kolonnawa with a Treasury allocation for swift disbursement of compensation to affected families. The Cabinet proposal will enable the Urban Development Authority to re-settle affected resident local families in suitable housing schemes.

The Cabinet paper No 19/512/119/047 proposed by Highways and Petroleum Resources Development Minister Kabir Hashim has been approved by Cabinet along with recommendations by Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera to expedite the remaining repair work on the CPC fuel pipeline along the Mahawatta area. “Cabinet has taken a decision to resume the project to avoid any disruption in the fuel supply in the country as a result of the damage which might be caused by dwellers living on the existing pipeline,” the Cabinet paper read.

Accordingly the Minister of Finance has requested the Treasury to consider it a national priority to release funds required to relocate the remaining families who are in unauthorized settlements along the pipeline.

It further requests that the Ministry of Megapolis & Western Development directs the UDA to allocate a number of houses from a suitable housing scheme to relocate these families at the earliest. The Minister of Highways and Petroleum Resources is to direct the Secretary to the Ministry and other relevant officials to ensure the speedy implementation of the replacement of the 12-inch diameter fuel pipeline.

“We are expecting the Minister Kabir Hashim to give orders for the Ministry Secretary to expedite the project. If he does so today, we will consider it an acceptable solution,” said Eng. Manu Jayawardene, Treasurer of the CPC Executive Officers Union. “We will still require protection from the Army to ensure that this repair is carried out without any disturbances.” Jayawardene along with several other CPC unions threatened to halt the supply of fuel to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) if the government does not permit the resumption of repair works on the dilapidated pipelines. The unions accused Minister Ravi Karunanayake of halting work given that the area in question belongs to his electorate. Jayawardene and other members of the Union are expected to meet Minister Kabir Hashim today. “If we are not offered an acceptable solution, we will resort to strike action from Friday.” he said.

Jayawardene said that the pipeline which leads to the Kolonnawa installation receives fuel from two sources namely the Colombo Port and the refinery at Sapugaskanda. “If this pipeline is not rehabilitated, it is a matter of survival and fuel and energy security of this country.”


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