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Port City could dry up Colombo - Eran

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The already controversial Port City Project, if completed, could create long-term impacts in Colombo in the form of water scarcity and sewerage issues, Deputy Minister, Highways, Higher Education and Investment Promotion, Eran Wickramaratne said last week.

The project is already under scrutiny and has been suspended as it had failed to obtain Parliamentary approval. It is expected that 300,000 people would occupy the land, which according to Wickramaratne, is half the population of Colombo.

 “When it is completed, and is in full flow, around 300,000 people will be living in that 500 acre land, which is half the population of this city. Can you imagine the issues in terms of water, transport, and also in terms of sewerage?” Wickramaratne stated while addressing the Sustainability Reporting Awards ceremony by the Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants (ACCA) last week in Colombo.

He also stated that there was no way that the sewerage system of that land would be connected to the system used in the city which was nearly 200 years old.

The Government stated that an Environmental Assessment Report was not obtained and a feasibility study had also not been carried out on the project.
Speaking at the event, which focused on the companies’ role in protecting the environment, Wickramaratne further stated that the Government was in support of sustainable development and added that companies must improve the management of impacts dependencies on natural capital and disclose the facts to the public and not just to shareholders.
Accordingly, companies would have to have a serious look at non-financial reports and sustainability reports going in line with the current trend.
Speaking further at the event, the Deputy Minister stated that in the 20th century, demand for water grew nine fold in comparison to the population which grew four fold.
Meanwhile, Country Manager, International Finance Corporation (IFC) for Sri Lanka and Maldives Adam Sack stated that Sri Lanka needed to adopt climate smart strategies to cope with anticipated impacts owing to climate change. Sack pointed out that annually, Sri Lanka’s overall rainfall reduced by 7mm and therefore, measures needed to be taken to avoid economic repercussions in the long run.He pointed out that Sri Lanka could shift to aspects such as renewable energy sources and adopt climate smart agricultural process.

Last modified on Saturday, 28 February 2015 19:50
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