Wind turbines already in operation in Mannar

By Jagath Kanaheraarachchi

Environmentalists on Thursday urged the government not to abandon the wind power project to be carried out by India’s Adani Group in Mannar.They have also called upon the government to halt the proposed ilmenite extraction operation.

Protect Mannar’s Environment (PME), an environmental organisation based in Pesalai, said that while they were supportive of renewable energy, the proposed wind farm would have a devastating impact on the fishermen and farmers.

“There are about 70,000 people in Pesalai, Mannar. The government is not concerned about them. They only see land they can sell. The government is desperate for money. We were affected by war for three decades, and now thousands of Indian fishermen are stealing our fish. We have no leaders to protect us,” Father Francis Gnanapragasam said, adding that already there were about 30 wind turbines in Mannar and they are already affecting the fishing community.

“There is a continuous vibration from these wind turbines. When Adani establishes more of them we will be in deep trouble,” he said.

A. Sugatar of PME said that wind turbines made continuous noise and that the Adani group is planning to establish 21 such turbines close to human settlements.

“How will people live with constant noise disturbing them? To establish a turbine they dig 50 feet into the ground. This leads to groundwater pollution. They will also destroy mangroves to build these hideous contraption. The turbines are on the path of the migratory birds to Sri Lanka. How many birds will die?” he asked.