Unauthorised building of shops in Maharagama cause nuisance

Published : 10:42 am  May 21, 2015 | No comments so far |  |  (1406) reads | 

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Text & Pics by Muditha Dayananda
A number of residents, pedestrians and motorists using Library Mawatha in Maharagama have been inconvenienced by a row of shops being constructed across the road.

When contacted the Urban Development Authority (UDA) stated the construction was illegal.

An alternative route from Maharagama- Dehiwala Road to the Highlevel Road was the only road leading to the library. Even though residents and motorists can enter from Highlevel Road, they are unable to enter from the Maharagama- Dehiwala Road as it has been closed.

Buses plying on the Maharagama- Dehiwala route were also sDM_20150521_A008topped at the junction, which is now closed. Earlier this year, the MUC also approved a proposal to widen the road for the convenience of the pedestrians.

Soon after the premises for the weekly fair were constructed, the Urban Council took measures to construct two rows of shops adjacent to the weekly fair. One of row of these shops has completely obstructed  the Library Road.

Residents along the road stated the construction was a violation of their fundamental rights as they had used the road for nearly 40 to 50 years.

Former JVP Urban Councillor Devananda Suraweera said the closure of the road should first be approved by the Council. “The road can only be closed if there is an alternative road for use. The Divisional Secretary, Provincial Commissioner and the Governor should grant their approval and then it should be gazetted. It is only then the road can be  closed,” he said.

Former UPFA Councillor Nishantha Wimalachandra said the closure of the road had not been approve by the Urban Council but the construction of the shops had  received the necessary approvals.

However, UDA officials said the construction was illegal. Even though it had received the approval of the Council, approval had not been granted by the UDA as the plans were not in order.

When contacted former Deputy Chairman of the Urban Council Sunil Kodithuwakku said the road no longer existed and stated the land had been acquired by the Council.