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Chinese company involved in big destruction of Knuckles Beligama Reserve

Chinese company involved in big destruction of Knuckles Beligama Reserve

Organisation for rainforest conservation has revealed about a large-scale destruction of forest by the Chinese Company Sinohydro Corporation Limited associated with the Elahera Tunnel Project under the Moragahakanda Project. The media co-ordinator of the organisation, Mr. Peshala Pasan Karunaratna has made the following revelation as below:

In the background where the UNESCO has recognised Knuckles Forest in the year 2010 as a world heritage because of a heritage of flora and fauna as well as bio-diversity the Moragahakanda
Reservoir which has come to be known as an ocean in the midst of a country is erected as a water-providing zone. In the meantime the company Sinohydro Corporation Limited is is engaged in this destruction by erecting an access route towards the location where the tunnel project is in operation. 

The permission they have been given is to erect a tunnel across the forest to a distance of 1.8 km. close to Sera Ella. However, they have carried out a destruction by cutting down trees by violating environmental conservation conditions, thus causing destruction of a massive scale to Knuckles conservation forest. They have constructed a roadway of over 750 m. (almost 1 km.) going beyond the permitted 1.8 km. 

In the above connection the Central Environmental Authority, the Mahaweli Authority or any other authority has been notified about this. The extra section that has been cut off has thus contributed to destruction of the forest. It has been understood that it has been so done in order to retain or save the monies expended for the bridge proposed to be constructed across Kabara Oya and instead construct only a bridge across Kabara Oya by using a culvert on its behalf and thus complete the project, by destroying the forest to a distance of 1 km. 

When considering the destruction carried out on a large number of trees within Beligama Reserve without any permission whatsoever and destroying plants and constructing the road in a manner which causes serious soil erosion, carrying out work by dumping rocks onto the midst of the river and releasing of soil in large quantities to Kabara Oya; this firm known as Shinohydro is responsible for a large blunder on their part. On the other hand it is a case of violating basic environmental laws too. Massive rocks, trees of a height of approximately 100 feet and a large quantity of cubes have been discarded directly to Kabara Oya. 

In this manner, at least over 2000 trees have been felled according to their whims and fancies in the portion of land ... and without any authority as such. Further, of the two concrete drains brought to construct the culvert across Kabara Oya in this unauthorised section, one drain by now has been found drifted down the river. This way also the river has been obstructed to some extent. 

The rainforest conservation informs that the said Chinese company receives constant support of a chief officer of the Ministry of Environment and that everything has  gone under the carpet because of influence exerted by several state organisations to carry out legal measures to expose this unauthorised clearing process ... with his support.    

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