Oil content in ground water in Jaffna decreases with closure of power plant blamed for waste leakage?

By Ifham Nizam

The latest report on water samples reveal that the oil and grease content in well water in most parts of Jaffna Peninsula is decreasing, the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) says.

 CEA Chairman Prof. Mervin Lal Dharmasiri told The Island that his officials were paying close attention to the allegations of water pollution caused by the Chunnakam Power Plant in Jaffna.

Water samples were collected from schools, temples, household wells and agro wells in Uduvil, Tellippalai and Kopay Divisional Secretariats for analysis. The Chairman also said that the same wells were also monitored by the CEA, Northern Provincial office.

 He said comprehensive investigations had been conducted into the alleged furnace oil leakage from the Thermal Power Plant contaminating the water resources.

sri-lanka “The water quality will be checked to determine the area affected by the problem. If the water is found to be contaminated, strategies will be identified and immediate measures will be taken to rectify the situation,” he said.

 The residents including schoolchildren held protests and a hunger strike in January against alleged waste oil leakage from the Chunnakam power plant. They demanded the closure of the power station to prevent any further pollution. An immediate visit was undertaken by officials of the Power and Energy Ministry to resolve the situation and find a permanent solution to the contamination of water by constructing improved water supplies.

The Mallakam District Court on January 27 ordered the indefinite closure of the Chunnakam Power Station in Jaffna after considering several petitions which requested the closure of the plant. Health authorities, Chunnakam Police and residents had filed the petitions.