October 26, 2020
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    Walkers hails Expert Committee report on Jaffna water contamination

    March 23, 2015

    “The announcement by the Expert Committee appointed by the Northern Provincial Council to study the water contamination issue in Jaffna; that there are no dangerous septic pollutants in the groundwater, is a major relief to the people of the Northern Province,” MTD Walkers PLC Director/ CEO Lal Perera said.

    The announcement was made public by the four-member Expert Committee comprised of Dr. K. Velayathamoorthy (Department of Chemistry of the University of Jaffna), Dr. Nalina Gnanavelraja (Faculty of Agriculture), Dr. A. Athputharajah (Head of the Faculty of Engineering) and Dr. T. Jeyasingham (University of East), last Friday (March 20) in Jaffna.

     

    The Company has maintained throughout that Northern Power Co (Pvt) Ltd – the powerhouse of North Sri Lanka, is not any way linked to the issue of ground water contamination in Jaffna as per all available scientific evidence and that such baseless allegations have been fueled by parties with vested interests.

     

    “We are very much optimistic that further investigations will vindicate all baseless accusations raised against us. When we ventured into Jaffna in 2007 during the height of the war, our main objective was to serve the electricity needs of the North in general and Jaffna in particular. As Northern Power Company (Pvt) Ltd, we deny outright these baseless charges raised by parties with vested interests and not a single allegation has been so far accepted by Courts or by any government authority. As all evidence presented to Court points directly to another location as being the source of contamination; the Company is not in anyway liable for the said situation,” Perera said.

     

    He pointed out that baseless allegations have been raised with the ulterior motive to mislead the people of Jaffna against the Northern Power Company (Pvt) Ltd, falsely claiming that the power plant located at Chunnakkam (Jaffna) is causing pollution of several wells located 2 to 3 kms away from the plant.

     

    Northern Power Co (Pvt) Ltd commenced the construction work of the Power plant in 2007 amidst the height of the conflict situation when no company or individual was willing to even venture into the North, let alone build a power plant; taking all risks to provide the much needed power to the people of Jaffna.


    Generation commenced around May 2009 and a larger population which had suffered severe hardships for over 15 years had electricity in their homes.

     

    The power plant is operated with all necessary environmental licenses and approvals in place which is issued on an annual basis with quarterly checks carried out based out on the conditions required by the licensing authority/ies.

     

    It was also highlighted that due to the simple fact that Jaffna has been connected to the national grid, the power plant is being used mostly during the peak loading times and as such, with the power plant operating only for few hours, there will not be waste oil volumes significant enough to affect wells 3 kilo meters away.

     

    The Company hailed the government for appointing a committee comprised of academics of two renowned institutions – the University of Peradeniya and the University of Jaffna who have already inspected the premises of the Power Plant and so far had found no credibility in the allegations raised.

     

    “We wish to reassert that Northern Power Company (Pvt) Ltd along with its parent company – MTD Walkers PLC is always committed towards working in the interest of all stakeholders while maintaining the highest standards of corporate ethics and good governance,” he added.

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