By K,Buddhika Kumarasiri
Functioning of a thermal power plant in Horana Investment Zone area that provide electricity to the Ceylon Electricity Board was suspended from Tuesday afternoon due to public protests. A tense atmosphere prevailed in Kekulaliya area in Ingiriya when the residents of the area staged a protest obstructing the access road to the power plant. Protesters and the officials of the power plant had a tense argument when Parliamentarian Vidura Wickremanayake intervened and met with them to resolve the issue. The thermal power plant had been established in the Horana Investment Zone recently to generate electricity to the Ceylon Electricity Board.
However the residents of the area said that the power plant had not obtained the approval of the Horana Pradeshiya Sabha, the Central Environmental Authority and the Ingiriya Divisional Secretariat. They complained to the parliamentarian that the people in several villages within a radius of five kilometres including Kekulaliya, Maguruwela, Yahalawatta, Dombagaskanda, Poruwadanda and Maputugala had been affected by the noise pollution of the power plant.
Officials of the Ingiriya Divisional Secretariat, Operations Office of the Horana Investment Zone, and the Horana Pradeshiya Sabha decided that the power plant was not operating as per specified standards. They ordered the officials of the power plant to obtain approval of the relevant authorities to operate the power plant in keeping with the required standards. Addressing the protesters Parliamentarian Wickremenayake said the civilian life in Horana should not be affected by ill planned power supply projects. He said he was not against the project if implemented in keeping with the required regulations.