Despite severe backlash from environmentalists, the Coast Conservation Department (CCD) reiterated today that the Colombo South beach nourishment project was a success.
CCD Director General Prabath Chandrakeerthi said sediment transport happened northwards and was expected to form a 15-metre wide beach at Wellawatte as per the project design. “However, ideally, our target is anywhere between Dehiwela and Mt. Lavinia coastal belt, not Wellawatte,” he said addressing a media briefing held recently.
“Nearly Rs.110 million was allocated for the beach nourishment project at Mt. Lavinia while the total cost of the project was Rs.890 million. The project had to commence during curfew as the foreign company was given only three months to complete the project. If we had discontinued the project, we would have had to pay them Rs.200,000 for every hour the project was halted. Therefore, it was a 24-hour operation and was continued with required approval during curfew. In fact, the cost of transporting sand to the Kalutara beach was the costliest part due to the distance. The sand had to be transported from the dredging location at Ratmalana to Calido beach,” he said.
When asked about the burrowing pit, he said it came under the purview of the CCD.
Commenting on this, CCD Coastal Engineer Lilani Ruhunage said dredging was done according to the carpet dredging method with minimum impact to the environment. “Usually, dredging is done in the deep sea since sediment transport doesn’t happen there. Sediment transport only happens within the surf zone,” she said.
Environmentalists and conservationists repeatedly questioned the CCD of not obtaining an environmental impact assessment prior to the commencement of the project. However, Mr. Chandrakeerthi opines that they do not require any approval as they are carrying out development work within the designated area.
“We obtained approval from the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) since the burrowing pit is beyond our designated area. Similar projects have been done in Marawila and Unawatuna,” he said.
In response to a query on why Wellawatte was not included in the proposal presented to the Cabinet, he said they only included the three main locations and by including Mt. Lavinia beach, they actually meant the entire beach stretch.(Kamanthi Wickramasinghe)
Comments - 14
Rex Jarkie Monday, 01 June 2020 09:10 PM
CCB DARE NOT SAY ANY THING AGAINST IT AS THEY WILL BE DONE WASTE OF MONEY IF THIS WAS DISTRIBUTED AMONG THE NEEDED WOULD BEEN A BETTER PROJECT GOD BLESS HIS SOUL
Dee Monday, 01 June 2020 09:11 PM
Congratulations! May you fill many more beaches in the next five years!
lalu Monday, 01 June 2020 09:53 PM
We are yet to see the pictures of a beach formation at Wellawathe.
Farook Monday, 01 June 2020 10:18 PM
Can i know why we need a artificial beach when we have natural beach. And what are we going to gain by creating the artificial beach, whats the objective?
nimal perera Monday, 01 June 2020 11:10 PM
what a joke. 890 million washed way what a joke
DR Monday, 01 June 2020 11:14 PM
The success of the Sand Engine method is not possible to be judged within a few months given its nature, it needs to be monitored for many years.. It is very strange that the true method of this project only surfaced once questions were asked why LKR 890mil worth of sand was washed off the shores within a matter of weeks.
Beach Lover Tuesday, 02 June 2020 12:00 AM
Wellawatte was not included but they actually meant the entire beach stretch. Contractors do not go by what was meant.
Dot Tuesday, 02 June 2020 03:28 AM
'wellawatte was not included'' in this mega costly project ..but the sea in her bounty has thought otherwise ..so now no one is excluded .. ..and a foreign company said a job well done ..just before nature took over ..
Sunil Tuesday, 02 June 2020 05:15 AM
Of course it was a roaring success to all who were able to make a fast buck out of this fraud when the effects of the Coronavirus was at its peak. Who are these CCD officials trying to fool? When will the sand washed away from the artificial beach at Mt Lavinia make its way to Wellawatte?
Why were the environmentalists kept away.
Sid Tuesday, 02 June 2020 06:16 AM
One of the most beautiful stretch of beach in Colombo is the Kinross beach in Wellawatte. Wellawatte always got step motherly treatment when it comes to development. Why? The answer my friend is "written in the wind"
Even when Railway Stations were developed Wellawatte was at the bottom.
Wellawatte residents can console themselves that they still have the original beach unlike the new cosmetic ones that are being developed
Eran Tuesday, 02 June 2020 06:39 AM
He who laugh last who laughs best
Joshua Tuesday, 02 June 2020 08:31 AM
Another SLPP mouthpiece trying to justify waste. More to come guys under this regime. May the
short sighted citizens strengthen waste and corruption at the next another wasteful election.
EngDG Tuesday, 02 June 2020 08:51 AM
Explanations given by CCD are not satisfactory not convincing scientific argument to the public. DG talked of a feasibility study are there engineering drawings that show final configuration present them. Contractor is not responsible for the final result and explanations on contract conditions also poor as client must draft it looking at all situations. Have you got monitoring photos surveys to prove sand not moved offshore but moved north with littoral drift. But explanations by you not convincing so far.
CITIZEN Tuesday, 02 June 2020 08:56 AM
IF CCD WILL NOT SAY IT WAS A FAILURE CAUSE IF THEY DO, THEIR SURVIVAL IS UNCERTAIN
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