Environmentalists Urge Govt. To Stop Pundaluoya Hydro Power Project


Mini Hydro Power Stations proposed to be constructed based on water fed regions of Kothmale Divisional Secretariat have exposed the entire Kothmale valley to a serious environmental crisis. A number of Hydro power Projects based on Pundalu Oya, Puna Oya and  Ramboda Oya have already begun.

According to Ravindra Kariyawasam national coordinator of the Center for Environment and Nature Studies in Sri Lanka , almost all natural water- ways  flowed beautifying Kothmale Division have been used for Hydro power Projects . This has resulted in the destruction of a number of waterfalls that added beauty to the  Kothmale region. Thus, the public of Kothmale region have been deprived of using these water-ways for their numerous day to day activities.

Further Ravindra said that it is unavoidable to stop the harm and destruction that may cause to a number of waterfalls  due to the proposed construction of the mini hydro power station at the  lower region of the Pundalu Oya flowing as a natural river.

Many natural ponds have been destroyed and nearly all rivers have dried up due to the construction of the mini hydro power stations which were based on all rivers in the Kothmale region. The  Pundalu Oya lower region, the only river to be witnessed as a natural river by the future generation is under threat now. Worst of all, the area proposed for the construction of this hydro power project has been a region vulnerable to earth slips. Many endemic hydro organisms find their habitats in natural ecosystems in this region.

The public living in Kothmale region have already lost waterfalls like Saint Claire, its bio diversity and their ancestral lands due to the construction of the two massive water projects, Upper Kothmale and Lower Kothmale. The people who became landless due to the two massive water projects, Upper Kothmale and Lower Kothmale had to start their lives fresh after being resettled  in the dry zone. A serious water crisis which makes it impossible for the residents of Kothmale even to fulfill their requirements of drinking water has been created with the coming of the dry season. The reason for this is the drying of the water springs in the area due to large scale hydro power stations and mini hydro power stations in  the area. The damage caused to the public and the environment could not be prevented although Environmental Assessment Reports have been done for those massive projects.

Action taken to construct many mini hydro power stations  disregarding this situation shall lead the whole Kothmale valley to undergo a serious water crisis and to have effect on the bio diversity as, well, said by Ravindra Kariyawasam.