The National Government of Sri Lanka displayed the political will to re-consider and re-plan projects by re-examining their impact on the environment and, has made necessary changes to meet various ecology and health standards. The Colombo Port City project is one such re-examined project. The Port city is to be constructed between the southern edge of the new Colombo South Port and the Fort Lighthouse. The total area of sea to be reclaimed is 450 acres. Despite its huge cost and geo-political implications, this government has had the courage to adjust the Port City plan to reduce negative impacts as far as possible and has successfully, negotiated these adjustments with the Chinese firm implementing the project.
It only demonstrates where there’s a will, there’s a way, if you truly want to do something, and you will find a way to do it, in spite of obstacles.
It is this approach that will bring more changes for which these legislators were voted into power by the people last August.
There are more other massive projects such as the proposed Megapolis project and Sampur coal power plants project that should be reviewed to meet these objectives. It is necessary to examine projects meticulously; to study their impact on the environment should be carried out at planning stage to avoid unnecessary delays during implementation stage and more importantly to avoid ecological and social damage. This procedure would ensure that these projects genuinely meet actual social and economic needs of the country with minimum impact to the environment.
The same concept should be applied to evaluate implemented projects that are considered as the ‘white elephants’, these are the Mattala airport, the artificial harbour in Hambantota, the Surya Weva, the Presidential Place at KKS in the North and other misplaced international conference centres and highways built far from population centres and how they could be put to proper use.