State Secrets

Armed with a restraining order against a hydro project on forestland, environmental lobbies say secretive state procedures are keeping the public from getting involved. Armed with a restraining order against a hydro project on forestland, environmental lobbies say secretive state procedures are keeping the public from getting involved.

The Court of Appeal on Tuesday extended an interim order to restrain Manikawita Hydro-Power Development (Private) Limited from building a hydroelectric power project at Bomuruella.

One of the oldest environmental lobbies, The Environmental Foundation (EFL)has been trying to quash state approval for the project, claiming the proper clearances have not been got with no room for public comment.

The proposed 9.2 MW small hydro project is to be on the Bomuruella Falls on the upper reaches of Uma Oya at Nuwara Eliya, on forest department land.

“The proposed hydropower project is located on lands administered by the Forest Department in the Kandapola – Seetha Eliya Forest Reserve, which is rich in biodiversity,” EFL said in a statement.

It is located downstream of the existing Bomuruella irrigation reservoir, which is tapp