Abandoned religious site in Kahapola

Published : 9:00 am  March 17, 2016 | No comments so far |  |  (1200) reads | 

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Untitled-3TEXT & PICS BY DAYARATHNE PATHIRANA In the government- owned Reginald Watta in Kahapola Piliyandala a construction identified as a religious site now remains abandoned after spending many millions of rupees, the residents complained. The construction with a foundation similar to a Royal kingdom had now become a hotspot for thieves and other anti- social elements. This land had been taken over by the Ministry of Zoological Gardens and Entertainment. Meanwhile the Ministry of Buddhist Affairs states that they had not intervened in constructing a religious centre. Reginald Watte presently extends up to about 84 acres and lies in proximity to the Bolgoda lake and has a hilly area as well.

Due to the scenic location many private firms had attempted over the years to acquire this property for housing projects. With the growing opposition of residents of the area to any acquisition by private companies, this property was taken over by the former government and in 2009 arrangements were made to construct a religious centre. With the placing of a foundation stone by the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. It is very obvious that many millions of rupees had been spent on the construction stalled presently which appears to be similar to a fortress of a kingdom. With the abrupt stoppage of the construction it has now been vested with the Ministry of Zoological Gardens.

Despite having no idea of the usage of this property the former government proceeded to hold a grand show at this site on 06th March 2014, by cutting the first sod and declaring that the place would be used to establish an environmental centre, a zoo, an artificial insemination unit for the endemic fauna of the country and a water sports centre for the tourists. Plans had been drawn up to complete this project in four stages.

However to date only the clearance of the shrubs had been completed and garbage from the zoo is daily dumped at this site now. The proposed construction of the religious centre was stalled in 2011. More than four acres of the land have been now filled with discarded concrete. With the neglect of this property the road leading to Kahapola through it had become lonely and not used making the place a haven for anti -social elements. There had been a murder of a young couple also at this place in the recent past.