The Supreme Court yesterday (29) fixed the fundamental rights petition filed by the Centre for Environmental Justice, and four individuals, including M.D.P. Manatunga, who are residents of Bandarawela, allegedly victimised as a result of the Uma Oya multi purpose project, for October 17.
The Bench comprised Justices B.P.Aluvihara, Sisira J.De Abrew and Anil Gooneratne.
The Attorney General in February appraised the Supreme Court on the progress of efforts to minimise the effect on area residents as a result of the Uma Oya Project.
The Supreme Court on December 7 last year directed the Uva Province Director of Agriculture to expedite the payment of compensation to the affected farmers for their loss crop loss as a result of Uma Oya Project.
The Court on September 14 directed the Uva Province Director of Agriculture to make necessary measures to pay compensation to the affected farmers for their loss crop loss as a result of Uma Oya Project before February 28.
The Court on July 4 directed that pipe-borne water should be supplied to the villagers who are adversely affected by the Uma Oya Project and compensation should be paid to the affected farmers through the Mahaweli Authority before December 31.
The petitioners complain that as a result of the Uma Oya project, not only have their homes and crops been destroyed, they have lost access to clean drinking water as well.
Secretary to the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, N. Rupasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Irrigation and Agriculture, the Central Environment Authority and the Attorney General are cited as respondents.
Ravindranath Dabare appeared for the petitioners while Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Rajaratnam appeared for the Attorney General. President’s Counsel Sanjeeva Jayawardena with Rukshan Senadheera and Saranee Gunatilake appeared for the Intervenient-Petitioner BASL Secretary Amal Randeniya, who intervenes in the public and national interest. (S.S.Selvanayagam)