Environmental group warns of move to sell water resources in SL

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

The Centre for Environmental and Nature Studies (CENS) yesterday alleges that there is a sinister plan to sell the country’s water resources to multinational companies and the government has already planned to draw around US $110 million loan from the World Bank for the purpose.

Environmentalist and National Coordinator of CENS Ravindra Kariyawasam said that the Cabinet approval had been obtained through a secret cabinet paper no; 14-0194-504-026 on February 10 this year to get a USD 110 million loan for the project named Climate Change and Water Resources under the Irrigation and Water Resources Management Ministry.

He alleged that the Finance and Planning Ministry had assigned the

Dam Safety and Water Resources Planning division to carry out the project according to a letter no W/D/M/01/L addressed to the Irrigation and Water Resources Management Ministry.

The loan had been obtained from the World Bank with a payback period of 25 years and at an interest of 1.25 percent per year, he said, adding that the World Bank had been reiterating that issuing of water for farming activities in Sri Lanka was a loss therefore the government should levey a fee.

The country’s water resources would be sold to the West through that project, Kariyawasam warned.

The World Bank’s aim was to privatise the country’s water resources and now the government was facilitating it through controversial projects, he added.

Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Management Nimal Siripala de Silva was not available for comment.


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