28 September, 2020

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Information About The Maruthankerny Desalination Project Comes To Light !

The Colombo Telegraph learns that vital documents relating to the Northern desalination project proposed for Maruthankerny, Thalaiyady, Jaffna have been released by the National Water Supply & Drainage Board (NWSDB), following the NWSDB being summoned by Sri Lanka’s Right to Information (RTI) Commission last week.   

Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran

Colombo Telegraph was informed by activists in Maruthankerny who had been agitating on the project for a long time, that the Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIA), the Environmental Management Plan Report (EMP) and the Feasibility Study (FS) regarding Maruthankerny being selected for the Northern desalination project among other documents had been made available to the public under RTI.

The proposed Maruthankerny Northern desalination project had led to peoples’ protests heightening from last year. Students and residents at Maruthankerny, Jaffna alleged that the proposed project to turn sea water into drinking water negatively impacted fisherfolk of the area as well as the eco-system and the coastal environment. Criticism was levelled against the Northern Provincial Council and Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran for not being sufficiently concerned about the negative impact of the project.

In Sri Lanka, many major developments projects are undertaken with poor EIA and EMP assessments which are not available to the people even though the law requires that these are public documents. The disastrous Uma Oya project in Bandarawela commenced during former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s time, which has turned a temperate up-country estate region into a hell-hole where the people’s houses are cracked by sub-standard material being used and there is deprivation of water resources across the region, is one example. One of the main criticisms levelled by environmental activists against the Uma Oya project is that the EIA was conducted by people with insufficient expertise.        

In the case of the Maruthankerny Northern desalination project, the EIA and EMP were obtained under the RTI Act when all efforts elsewhere had failed. Maruthankerny activists hailed this as a significant victory for them.

It is also learnt that the RTI Commission had warned the NWSDB regarding its mandatory duty under the RTI Act, No 12 of 2016 to appoint an Information Officer as the Officer had yet not been appointed. Notices were served by the office of the Commission on the head of the NWSDB as the Act allows the CEO of any authority covered by the RTI Act to be cited as the Information Officer if the Information Officer is not appointed.    

Related posts:

The Northern Desalination Project & Abusing The People Of Maruthankerny

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Latest comments

  • 4
    3

    Definition of A statesman/ Woman to have a clear Vision Of what his Country and His People can become.
    He knows where he wants and WHAT IT WILL TAKE TO GET THERE.

    Statesman or a Politician ‘s Foresight is one of his most important qualities to Recognise Problems on the Horizon and be able to come up with solutions that are GOOD not only for short Term but for the Long Term as well. He should recognise not only the here and now but for the future generations too To inherit.

    If they have no such Qualities of the above , they should leave Politics ASAP and become
    a HINDU PRIEST( Kurrukkal)

    If The CM / CV Wigneswaran had been accused of not have considered as an issue affecting the locals
    he should VACATE HIS POST AND SELECT SOME ONE ELSE who can Consider this as a matter of urgency to Reject and Act.
    CM should have acted sooner when the agitation started a year ago.
    It looks like to find a Decent Statesman would be like finding needle in the Haystack???

    Shame! Shame ! Shame sir!!! OR is it A Propaganda????
    What ever ! The CM should Reply for this accusation to save his credibility.
    We as subjects eager to hear his version.

    • 5
      1

      Is it a Propaganda against Mr . Wigneswaran ???
      Come on speak up Mr. W..
      Are we in the Political Wilderness???
      Tit for Tat is common among all , it’s worse among Politicians.

  • 20
    1

    Bloody idiots, every project done for the good of the country and the people in that bloody country is blocked by all kinds of idiotic people on filmsy and silly reasons. In all the Gulf countries all most all of the water for human consumption, agriculture and industrial purposes is obtain from sea water desilination yet they catch bountiful fish. Our media too wouldn’t check things properly before reporting any thing. Nothing wrong with the Uma Oya project but all the issues are due poor quality job done. Under the English Channel trains are running back and forth England and Continental Europe every ten minutes, under Hong Kong harbour their Metro trians are running for years. The driverless Dubai Metro train is running under the Dubai Creek. They are built the longest tunnel in the world connecting Rotterdam port in Holland and the Port of Genova in Italyl under the highest mountain range in Europe. Now the Chinese are building the longest tunnel in Asia in Malaysia – USD. 7 billion 15000 miles railway connecting the East coast to the West coast of Malaysia. In None of these cases there is water leaks or any other issues. In SL all isssues are related to poor quality work done by not reputed contractors and due lack of rigorous checks and monitoring by top notch world class consultants to ensure the projection is done to the best satisfaction of all.

    • 4
      2

      It is relevant to mention that neighbouring Tamil Nadu has 13 such
      desalination plants and an AUTHORITY assigned to it – have they
      lost all the fish??? I agree that it is only in Sri Lanka that one has
      various manifestations of disagreements be it anything!

  • 3
    9

    Naturally! Wiggi will not defend the interests of the Northerners as he only knows show a political Kavadi dance.

  • 3
    6

    I can not understand the theory behind saying that a desalination project affects fishing. IT looks purely political. Just if the govt wants to do anything just reject it and that is the philosophy. Uma Oya project may have failed because of too much corruption because Mahinda Rajapakse was the most corrupt president we had until Ranil Wicmarasinghe comes. Anyway, this is a crap article. It does not have any specific information. CT is journalistically bankrupt. So wrote something. I think none of what I wrote are applicable as this is a lie by one who wrote.

    • 2
      2

      Can any one understand the hell this softy feller is talking about?

      The news is about EIAs and EMPs of important projects being made public and he talks crap in something that barely breaks down to English. write in Cingalese, softy old chap, if you can’t use the Queen’s English properly.

      Soft in his head, eh…

  • 1
    4

    People who talks here also looks they do not know what they are talking. Probably, this is work of political opposition of Mr. wigneswaran. As this article doe snot say anything sensible. IT talks about a desalination project sucking water (from the OCEAN) and that is affecting fishing. then about RTI information related some crap. Uma Oya is not related to NPC.. So, it is the dumb political opposition of NPC responsible for this article and making others dumb. that is typical Tamils.

    • 4
      2

      Jimbo Shitty: People who talks here also looks they do not know what they are talking.

      TFN: that is because you are too dumb to understand.

      • 2
        2

        Kenedian Donkey is braying.

        • 4
          2

          Jimba Shit, look here. I am from a country called Canada not Keneda. I do understand you are dumb as a bat but I have taught you this before many times and you still don’t get it. Also you are always interested in talking about donkeys, LTTE, Tamils and Christians………………………this tells me that you are deeply in love with the above stated kinds. Good, now I understand your deep desire to be one of them.

  • 2
    0

    CT Jaffna Desk,
    .

    “The Colombo Telegraph learns that vital documents relating to the Northern desalination project proposed for Maruthankerny, Thalaiyady, Jaffna have been released by the National Water Supply & Drainage Board (NWSDB), following the NWSDB being summoned by Sri Lanka’s Right to Information (RTI) Commission last week.”
    .
    Thank you but can you please upload the documents?

  • 1
    0

    I repeat my earlier question: what is the point of constructing a very expensive R/O plant that might harm the environment as an INTERIM solution? Borrowing funds from ADB for a temporary solution does not make any sense. Are there funds to run the plant?
    .
    My understanding is that the local population does not want this plant. Is Thalaiyady also the place where sand is mined against the wishes of the local population?
    .
    The R/O plant in Maruthankerny is presented as an INTERIM solution for the drinking water needs in the ADB documentation available on line.
    .
    Construction of water pipes, sumps and water towers is going on but is there any certainty that there will be water to fill them? Water from where? The population and politicians in Kilinochi district oppose Jaffna-Kilinochi water project.

    • 1
      0

      A major issue with desalination, besides energy cost, is the disposal of the residual concentrate. Disposal close to the site, near the coast with fishing activity or in shallow waters where fish breeds is unacceptable.
      *
      Re water from Kilinochchi, there was need to convince the local public that water needs for cultivation will not be affected. It was politically unwise to appear to impose the project on the people of Kilinochchi.
      Assuring the people involves repairing the old canals to reduce water seepage and then increasing the capacity of the reservoir.
      The people should feel that they have a say in the quantity of water to be delivered. That combined with averting the risk of decomposing blue-green algae producing toxins under anaerobic conditions, demands water treatment close to the reservoir rather than near Jaffna.
      Besides, Jaffna should undertake water conservation projects at various levels. The “River for Jaffna” project will considerably reduce the demand for water from outside the peninsula.
      *
      CVW is not well informed on such matters and perhaps lacks interest.
      His weakness showed in the matter of waste oil pollution of wells in Chunnakam and issues relating to Poaching by Indian Trawlers.
      *
      Besides, all Tamil nationalist leaders like to be in the good books of India and the West, and the elite class interests that they represent may explain many of their failures.

  • 0
    1

    Dr RN,
    .
    Wish you were here to contribute.

  • 2
    0

    There have been few articles on desalination project in the CT. Except for few constructive comments; most of the comments are irrelevant or political. I remember some articles on Marthangkerni and desalination. One article even questions the need for desalination project without proper study since desalination is a very costly project, adding to the financial burden of the Sri Lanka government. In fact, the article suggests some remedial measures.
    As usual, as these articles go out of circulation in CT, everyone including the authorities who are responsible for solving the problem forgets about these articles. So no action is taken. Although the article by CVW does not give any detailed information, it revives the issues. As a retired judge, he may not be technically competent; at least his ministers should follow it up and keep the public informed. .

  • 2
    2

    The procedure for conducting Environmental Impact Assessment and its approval are clearly laid down on the National Environmental Act, No.47 of 1980 and Regulations, No.1 of 1993.

    1) Central Environmental Authority (CEA) issue ToR for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the development (Maruthankerny) project
    2) Upon receipt of an EIA Report the CEA determine whether the EIA adheres to its ToR or Not. (If Not, CEA would ask to do the required)
    3) If accepted as adhered to ToR, CEA publish in one national newspaper in the Sinhala, Tamil and English languages on the availability of EIA for inspection to make written comments on the EIA, if any, thereon to the CEA within 30 days.

    So it is very clear that EIA is not a secret document, rather it had to be made public (by an advertisement on news paper) for reviewing by public before acceptance and other procedures to continue.

    What is here the CT is trying to do?, why CVW photograph is included into the article? What is CVW to do with Maruthankerny Desalination Plant? Why are you politicizing every development issue? It is disgrace of you CT!

    • 2
      0

      K Arulananthan
      My thoughts were same! Why CVW’s name alone has been dragged into this matter??
      Where was TNA and others on this matter.?
      Do they have a say on the matter??
      Is CT doing a Political witch hunt?? Or doing Propaganda for TNA ??
      This project and the contaminated water problem in the North should be consulted by professionals to come up with the solution is the right way.
      The health of present and future generation relies on a feasible decision,

      This is where the Responsibilities of a Statesman or a Politician to be known by all CITIZENS.
      A Politician’s foresight is one of his most important qualities to recognise problems and come up with solutions, yes ! For long term solutions too , not just for short term.
      State money is not for wasting on short term ” sticking plasters.”

  • 1
    0

    Will the plant be installed by GoSL or by NPC? Sub-standard expertise & technology is a possibility and there may be shutdowns like the Norachcholai power plant. One can live without power but not without drinking water.
    Conservation of rain water runoffs must be explored. This can be done by deepening the ponds, lakes and the temple tanks. This will have other benefits as well and is worth pursuing.

  • 5
    0

    Has been Allowing all the existing tanks and water reservoirs in Tamil area and talking about desalination plants. In the center of Jaffna city itself the tank was allowed to deteriorate and one side was filled , trees cut and hotel probed up. There is enough mud left to grow Lotus . And It is a good business to sell Lotus flower from the bond

  • 5
    0

    Why can’t the money be used to widen and upgrade the Chavachcheri – Sangupity Road. The road is smelly and garbage is littered both side along the road. That Part is not part of the beautiful Sri Lanka. They don’t look at the other side when shooting films along the bridge.

  • 3
    0

    Yes we need more comments like this to show the smelly side of Jaffna.
    God these people building castles in the air.
    These politicians are good for nothing laughing stock of apeh naadu!!!

  • 0
    0

    Very good articles

  • 3
    0

    Has been Allowing all the existing tanks,ponds and water reservoirs in Tamil area to deteriorate and talking about desalination plants. In the center of Jaffna city itself the tank was allowed to deteriorate and one side was filled , trees cut and hotel probed up. There is enough mud left to grow Lotus . And It is a good business to sell Lotus flower from the pond.
    Naturally Jaffna with water inlets. palm trees , beaches is beautiful. It was done by pre- colonial rulers. under present and modern governance all have been destroyed, deteriorated, perished. People are unable to organise to maintain the prevailed water system. Older water systems are still worth to preserve and use. Convert the older system to modernise not destroying and looking for new things . Contracters and corrupteds benefit. Point Pedro market is a good example.

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