The diminishing of Mt. Lavinia to Ratmalana beach belt Where are the answers?

Published : 10:55 am  June 7, 2015 | No comments so far |  |  (2276) reads | 

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By H.M.Dharmapala, Kusal Chamath and Indika Manoj
Sea erosion in the coastal belt of Mount Lavinia, Dehiwala and Ratmalana has worsened and more than 100 houses have been destroyed by the sea.  Residents of the area pointed out that Ratmalana beach was the worst affected.

Several restaurants and business establishments catering to  tourists are among those affected. At least ten tourist restaurants have been extensively damaged. Area residents also said that several  more houses along the beach were in danger of being washed away and that their occupants were living in constant fear a reason for their sleepless nights.

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It also transpired that the authorities had prom+56856ised to provide land and settle the affected families but no action had been taken. An opinion was also expressed that sea erosion worsened after the construction of the Port City project started.


Meanwhile a railway official pointed out that the distance between the beach and the railway line was less than 10 metres and the situation had worsened by last morning.  


A resident of Wedikanda in Ratmalana and a fisherman, Samarapala Peiris said  that in the past the edge of the beach was more than 100 metres away but a vast area of the land had got washed away. He pointed out that the boulders laid by the Coast Conservation Department last year were now buried in sand. He was concerned that the authorities have ignored the predicament of hundreds of affected families living in the area. The people had also accused the Dehiwala Mount Lavinia Municipal Council of ignoring their representations in this regard. Several tourist hotel owners said their requests to the authorities to build breakwaters to prevent erosion had gone unheeded.


Speaking on the issue, Dehiwala- Mount Lavinia Mayor Dhanasiri Amaratunga said the resettlement of displaced families was not within the purview of the municipal council and that it was a responsibility of the central government. He also alleged that the people living in the affected area were unauthorised dwellers. The mayor also said the affected area was within the tsunami buffer zone which therefore was not a residential area.  However, the mayor said as a humanitarian gesture the municipal council provided urgent relief to the displaced


Meanwhile Rathmalana West Divisional Secretary D.A.H.Piyatillake said the families displaced for the last two days were provided shelter at the  Dharmarama Temple in Ratmalana and dry rations issued to them. He also said sea erosion in that particular coastal belt was an annual feature, but that it had worsened this year. He said the immediate resettlement of the displaced families was not possible for want of land.

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