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Lanka Hydraulic Institute Ltd begins EIA related studies on proposed fourth coal power plant

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by Ifham Nizam

Lanka Hydraulic Institute Ltd (LHI) has commenced studies, particularly, on ash content and impact on water resources as regards the proposed fourth coal power plant at the Lak Viyaya Power Plant Complex at Norochcholai.

An official told The Island that the study would focus on water quality, coal ash and other related issues especially pointed out by the environment and renewable energy lobby.

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) Project Team now says it will take one year to complete the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The EIA team is headed by a renowned Professor.

“It would take six months, a senior engineer said. The main study, laboratory tests etc., would be conducted by Sri Lankan owned Lanka Hydraulic Institute Limited,” he added.

When queried, an engineer said that immediately after the completion of the study, it would be taken up by a public consultation committee. “The public will be given 30 days to come up with their suggestions.”

However, our inquiries revealed that the government is very much committed to handing over the fourth plant to the China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) that built three plants at the first coal-fired power plant complex in the country.



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Economic crisis: 100,000 families already starving

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Govt. to provide monthly assistance package – official

By Ifham Nizam 

Plans are underway to assist an average needy family of  four with a monthly package of Rs. 15,000, a senior adviser to President Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday, adding that the move was expected to help ameliorate the plight of nearly 65,000 families.

Food Security Committee Chairman Dr. Suren Batagoda told The Island yesterday that at present some 100,000 families across the country were starving.

He said financial assistance would be provided to those families for three months. Within three months, the government would design a package in the form of food stamps, etc.

Dr. Batagoda said the World Food Programme, UNICEF, the World Bank, and state agencies would also team up to strengthen food security, focusing especially on needy pregnant mothers and pre-school children.

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GR govt. ignored Chinese lenders’ request for debt restructuring

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By Rathindra Kuruwita

The Gotabaya Rajapaksa government had ignored suggestions by Chinese lending institutions that Sri Lanka to restructure the debt in 2021, Prof. Samitha Hettige said yesterday.

“The Rajapaksa government started talking of debt restructuring earlier this year. The Opposition had been asking for this before,” he said.  By 2021, before the Gotabaya Rajapaksa administration decided on debt restructuring, the Chinese institutions that had given Sri Lanka loans suggested that a restructuring process should start since Sri Lanka would have trouble repaying the loans, the Strategic Studies scholar said.

However, the request had gone unheeded, and if the government had started discussions then, Sri Lanka would not have been in crisis, Prof. Hettige said.

The Sri Lankan foreign policy, in the last few years, had also been misguided, Prof. Hettige said. A number of Indian and Chinese companies faced unnecessary issues by the behaviour of the government, he said.

Prof. Hettige said that the government must focus on establishing free trade ports and reducing negative lists for investments.

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SJB dissociates itself from SF’s call for protest

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By Chaminda Silva

MP Sarath Fonseka’s call for people to join anti-government protests was not a decision taken by the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), party MP J.C Alawathuwala said.

The SJB believed that they had to help President Ranil Wickremesinghe stabilise the country, economically and politically, he said.

MP Alawathuwala said the President must be given some time to solve the problems faced by the people and that the SJB was holding discussions with the government to guide it on a people-friendly path.

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