Bomuruella Mini Hydro Power Plant, Sri Lanka

Amazing falls in the Seetha Eliya Forest Reserve under threat for a small hydro plant. EFL filed a case for the irregularities in the Environmental Impact Assessment

<div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Description</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld"></td><td class="columns"> Located in the Nuwara Eliya district, the proposed project came within the Kandapola – Seetha Eliya Forest Reserve. It involved the construction of a 9.2 MW mini hydro power plant on the Bomuruella Falls situated in the upper reaches of the Uma Oya,which is on a higher elevation and an important catchment area.  The EJO Environmental Foundation Limited filed a case against the project requesting that the approval granted by the Central Environmental Authority (CEA), be cancelled. It also requested the court to quash the annual permit given by the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB). In August 2004, the Court of Appeal ordered the implementation of the hydro power project be suspended. An article in the <a>Sunday Observer</a> reports citation from legal experts of EFL: "The proposed site is in an environmentally sensitive area with rich bio-diversity but no EIA has been carried out so far. Only an Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) Report, not for public comment, was prepared", Vinod Moonasinghe, EFL information officer, claimed. According to the EFL, the private company was granted the approval based on the IEE, which is a mere report to ascertain the environmental impacts of the project. The EFL has also charged the responsible authorities for not carrying out site inspection to evaluate the geological features of slope stability and drainage pattern of slopes between the wire and the fore bay tank. " The power house is to be constructed at an elevation of nearly 1270 metres above sea level and the necessary slope excavation could effect the stability of the hill side", he said. The EFL has warned of grave and irreparable damage to the environment if the project is implemented, including deforestation, loss of endemic flora, soil erosion and earth slips. " Over 1420 trees will be cut to construct the power plant and this would affect the rainfall pattern," Moonasinghe added. </td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Basic Data</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Name</td><td>Bomuruella Mini Hydro Power Plant, Sri Lanka</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Country</td><td><a href="/country/sri-lanka">Sri Lanka</a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Province</td><td>Central Province</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Site</td><td>Nuwara Eliya</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Accuracy of Location</td><td>MEDIUM regional level</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Source of Conflict</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (1st level)</td><td>Water Management</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (2nd level)</td><td>Dams and water distribution conflicts</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Specific Commodities</td><td><a href='/commodity/water'>Water</a><br /><a href='/commodity/electricity'>Electricity</a></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Project Details and Actors</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Details</td><td class="columns">Project Capacity - 9.2 MW</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Population</td><td>Rural</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Start Date</td><td>12/10/2003</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">End Date</td><td>31/07/2006</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Company Names or State Enterprises</td><td><a href='/company/manikawita-hydro-power-development-private-limited'>Manikawita Hydro-Power Development (Private) Limited</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/sri-lanka'><small>Sri Lanka</small></a> - <small>Proponent</small></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Relevant government actors</td><td>Forest Department<br/><br/>Central Environmental Authority</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Environmental justice organisations and other supporters</td><td>Environmental Foundation (Guarantee) Limited <br/><br/></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">The Conflict and the Mobilization</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)</td><td>LATENT (no visible organising at the moment)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">When did the mobilization begin</td><td>PREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Groups Mobilizing</td><td>Local ejos</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Forms of Mobilization</td><td>Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism<br /> Objections to the EIA</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Impacts</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Environmental Impacts</td><td><strong>Potential: </strong>Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Outcome</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Status</td><td>Stopped</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Pathways for conflict outcome / response</td><td>Court decision (victory for environmental justice)<br /> Project cancelled</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Do you consider this as a success?</td><td>Yes</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Why? Explain briefly.</td><td>The Court found that the approval was invalid and ordered the respondent to conduct a thorough Environmental Impact Assessment of the project</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Sources and Materials</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">References</td><td><table><tr><td><p> R. Jayasinghe, N. Bandara and K. Mohotti, "Contamination Sources of Bomuruella Reservoir at Nuwara Eliya," Journal of Environmental Protection, Vol. 2 No. 3, 2011, pp. 271-279. doi: 10.4236/jep.2011.23030.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Bomuruella Hydro Power Plant- EFL wins first round<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Bomuruella Mini Hydro Power Plant - Legal Portfolio, Environmental Foundation Limited.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> The Sunday Leader - NPP Fails To Consider Impacts On Environment<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> The Sunday Observer - Bomuruella Hydro Power Project : EFL wins first round, by Shanika Sriyananda<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other Documents</td><td><table><tr><td><p><strong>View on the Bomuruella Falls</strong> Source:<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Meta Information</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Contributor</td><td>Environmental Foundation Limited</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Last update</td><td>09/03/2016</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div>