Probe on Lanka Coal and Lakvijaya

By Skandha Gunasekara

The Parliament watchdog group, the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE), is to summon Lanka Coal Company (Pvt.) Ltd. during its first meeting while the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant (Lakvijaya Power Station) will be called soon after.

COPE Chair MP Dr. Charitha Herarh told The Sunday Morning that they were being probed on the basis of special audit reports and would be questioned when the Committee first meets on Tuesday, 6 October. “We will call Lanka Coal Company (Pvt.) Ltd. on the 6th.

A special audit report by the Auditor General’s (AG) Department has highlighted several irregularities such as coal purchasing arrangements, power shortages, etc. that we must look into.”

On Thursday, 8 October, COPE will hear from the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant. “There was a special report on the operations of the Lakvijaya Power Station and its environmental impact. We have summoned representatives of the Ministries of Power and Energy, Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), Lakvijaya Power Station, Central Environmental Authority (CEA), and the Provincial Environmental Authority of the North Western Province.”

He said that COPE would take up another special audit report on the feasibility study and the procurement process of the Central Expressway Project on 20 October, for which the Road Development Authority and the relevant officials and institutions have been summoned.

An audit report on the water pollution will also be taken on the same day. “Another issue we’re going to look at is the audit report on water pollution in the Kelani River. This is mainly focused on the drinking water-related issue in the suburbs of Colombo. We have summoned the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB), Water Resource Board (WRB), Board of Investments (BOI), CEA, and local government agencies which are related to this issue.”

The final matter COPE would take up is queries on an audit report on the ongoing issues in the coconut industry.