The Sunday Leader

Concerns Over New Road Across Forest Reserve

By Binoy Suriyaarachchi

The construction of a road across the Viharakanda forest reserve by the Nivithigala Pradeshiya Sabha has come under severe criticism, with the Kahawatta Divisional Secretariat (KDS) claiming that both the forest and its animals are in jeopardy and charging the construction is illegal.

Sources from the KDS on the basis of anonymity said that in spite of several requests made, the Pradeshiya Sabha had commenced constructing the road last week.

District Secretariat V.A. Bamunuarachchi told The Sunday Leader that the KDS has requested in writing from the Nivithigala Pradeshiya Sabha to temporary hold the construction.

The road has already been constructed over 250 meters through the forest reserve, The Sunday Leader learns.

“The damage caused by the road is massive. Hence, the KDS interfered with the construction. An inquiry is supposed to be conducted to determine whether the road is essential,” said Bamunuarachchi.

Reportedly, the construction has been conducted under the directions of Nivithigala Pradeshiya Sabha Member Rathnathilaka Nilame. According to the residents of the area, there is an alleged plan to build a hotel in the forest reserve. It was also reported the construction has been started without obtaining an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) from the Central Environment Authority (CEA).

 

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