President Maithripala Sirisena said Cabinet subcommittee will be appointed to review the plans of Uma Oya multi-purpose development project, which has extensively been discussed lately.
The President, who is also the Minister of Mahaweli Development and Environment, has instructed the Secretary of the Ministry of Environment Conservation to immediately provide a report on the present progress of the project, financial situation and public views on the project.
The report will be submitted to the Cabinet next week and a subcommittee will be appointed to decide on the project.
The President has taken this decision when a group of people who have been affected by the Uma Oya project met him at the Auditorium of the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment Friday.
People in the Uva Province have held several protest campaigns against the project due to its adverse environmental impact.
Earlier Deputy Irrigation Minister Wasantha Aluwihare said the government will not stop the project entirely, but would temporarily halt the development project until the issues related to it are fully discussed.
The President has assured that the government will not carry out any project that will harm the environment.
The multi-purpose project involves the construction of two reservoirs on tributaries of the Uma Oya, which flows down from central hills and join the Mahaweli River, and one tunnel on the Uma Oya to divert water to a power generator further downstream.
The project at an estimated cost of US$ 529 million was launched by the previous government in 2012 with a US$ 450 million loan from Iran.