Sri Lanka: China-funded Norochcholai Coal Power Plant could affect Maha Bodhi Tree


Colombo [Sri Lanka], March 6: The toxic acids evaporated from the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant may pose a threat to the Sri Maha Bodhi tree, the oldest living tree of the world with a written history, reported Ilankai Tamil Sangam (, an association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the US.
The Lakvijaya Power Plant, also known as the Norochcholai Power plant, is situated in Norochcholai, Puttalam in the Northwestern province of Sri Lanka, at the southern end of the Kalpitiya peninsula. It is the largest thermal power plant in Sri Lanka.

Sri Maha Bodhi Tree is a sacred and historical Bo tree (Fig tree) that is located in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It is believed that this tree is grown from a branch of the sacred Bodhi tree in Gaya, India, under which Siddhartha Gautama (Lord Buddha) attained enlightenment. It holds significant importance for Buddhists who visit and pay homage to the sacred tree, which has a direct link to Lord Buddha himself.
According to ecologists, there is a chance that clouds carrying dangerous acid deposits will move in the direction of Anuradhapura, where the revered Sri Maha Bodhi tree is located, reported
Closer to the power plant, trees have already started showing symptoms of damage. The leaves of taller trees have started turning yellowish due to the emission of these gases. It won’t be too long before the effect of toxic emissions start appearing on the sacred tree.

Moreover, the acidic condition is also spreading towards the sea areas as a result. Therefore, rebuilding such harmful coal power plants in future is a threat to the eco-system, reported
Sri Lanka’s first coal-fired thermal power plant and the largest power station is implemented as a venture of the Ceylon Electricity Board with the aid of EXIM Bank of the Republic of China. Located 100m inland from the shoreline, the construction was undertaken by the CMEC (China Machinery Engineering Corporation) and the total estimated cost of the project was USD 1.35 billion.
The Lakvijaya Power Station which is also known as the Noracholai Power Station generates a significant amount of Sri Lanka’s total electricity production.
Emissions from the 900MW coal power plant in the Kalpitiya peninsula are much above permissible standards possibly due to frequent breakdown, intermitted operations and unexpected storage of fly ash in open pits.

The power plant also gives rise to a large amount of solid waste, heat waste and water pollution due to the release of heated water. This will have long-term environmental impacts, reported
The emissions from the Lak Vijaya power plant have produced significant negative impacts on the environment as well as on resident society.


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