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Sri Lanka contractors told to avoid costly litigation with better mitigation

Apr 11, 2016 12:46 PM GMT+0530 | 0 Comment(s)

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan construction firms will find it more cost effective to comply with biodiversity safeguards despite their costs than face the prospect of more expensive litigation should things go wrong, experts say.

“When we suggest these measures (safeguards), engineers think they are not necessary and are an unnecessary cost,” said Saranga Gajasinghe, Safeguard Specialist and Consultant to Asian Development Bank.

“But if the public goes to court (over environmental issues) their projects can be more costly,” he told a forum on creating more biodiversity awareness in the construction sector, which has emerged as the fastest growing sector since the ethnic war ended in 2009.

“That could be avoided with mitigation measures.”

Gajasinghe, who has also worked for the Road Development Authority, said that doing environmental assessments, even for small projects, would help contractors reduce problems and manage better any that occur.

Contractors were required to develop environmental management plan, a generic plan that gives broad mitigation measures.

But it is also better for contractors to develop environmental action plans for the specific location they are working in, he told the forum organised by the biodiversity unit of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

“My experience is that contractors may not develop environmental management plans that identify site specific difficulties. They will then face issues because they will not know what to do at a given location.”
 (COLOMBO, April 11, 2016)


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