- The President has assured to find lasting solutions to environmental and social problems of the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant
By Lahiru Pothmulla
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday said the Power and Energy Minister would assign a team of engineers to investigate the activities of the Norochcholai Power Plant.
President Rajapaksa has made this observation at a meeting with Archbishop of Colombo His Eminence Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, Bishops, residents and environmentalists of Chilaw at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday.
At the meeting, the President has assured to find lasting solutions to environmental and social problems of the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant.
He emphasised that the thermal power plant should be operated according to technical and environmental requirements.
The President’s attention has been drawn to the damage caused to the environment and the people by not properly implementing the environmental norms agreed to, at the commencement of the project.
President Rajapaksa said that the relevant authorities and officials would be summoned immediately and given necessary instructions in this regard.
The President’s Office said the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant which is at its third stage generates 900 MW of electricity at present and that no decision has been taken yet regarding the fourth stage.
It said by 2030 it is expected to generate 80% of the total energy demand in the country utilising renewable energy sources and that guidelines had been issued to conduct continuous follow ups.
President Rajapaksa has said that energy is the key to the rapid development of the country and that alternative energy sources should be generated at a minimal cost. “They should be environmentally friendly and people friendly,” he said.
Meanwhile, the President said that he too would inspect the plant and that steps will be taken to resolve issues after conducting discussions with the religious leaders and the people of the area in Chilaw.
Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith has pointed out that the President has to engage in a great struggle to eliminate corruption and irregularities in the development process.