Road Show

The Supreme Court made history this week, rapping the Road Development Authority (RDA) for deviating from its original route for the Southern highway, bypassing laws protecting the environment.rnrn
This was the first time the Sri Lankan law has brought to book a state firm for violation of environmental laws. rn

rnThe RDA was taken to courts for trying to implement two deviations on the Southern Expressway without first doing an environmental impact assessment (EIA) on the change of route.rn

rnAlthough an EIA was done at the inception of the project, on a route mapped out earlier, the RDA later deviated the route in two areas, but did not conduct supplementary EIAs for the new locations affected by the diversions.rn

rnTwo villages, caught up in the two diverted areas of the road, accused the RDA of not following legal procedure.rn

rnThe Court ruled in favour of the villagers of Bandaragama and Akmeemana and slapped the RDA with damages totalling close to Rs 4 mn but also ruled that the Southe