No reservoirs near Sinharaja without UNESCO approval

No reservoir will be established near the Sinharaja Reserve without the approval of the UNESCO, Irrigation Minister Chamal Rajapaksa informed Parliament yesterday.

Minister Chamal Rajapaksa said that the Government is seeking UNESCO’s judgment on the proposed reservoirs, which are a part of the Gin-Nilwala Diversion Project.

Minister Rajapaksa said that the two reservoirs are only a proposal and therefore, commotion on social media on the matter is a political agenda.

He was responding to Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP Buddhika Pathirana.

“As we all know, Sinharaja is a sensitive area. The Gin-Nilwala Diversion Project was proposed many decades ago and as per the Feasibility Study Report on the project, constructing one tank near a village adjacent to the Sinharaja Conservation was proposed. However, this is only a proposal. The UNESCO will respond to this Feasibility Study Report and let us know if it believes that the project is sustainable. The media should be responsible when reporting such cases because as per the news stories that circulating on social media platform, it seems as if we are trying to construct reservoirs in the middle of the Sinharaja Reserve,” the Minister said.

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