Foundation laid for proposed Disaster Welfare CentrePublished : 2:50 pm November 17, 2016 | No comments so far | | (375) reads |
BY DEVAPRIYA CHANDRASIRI Despite the protest by residents to put up the proposed Disaster Welfare Centre at Galaudupita in Welisara in the Wattala electorate, measures were initiated to continue with the project. However, when a ceremony was held recently to lay the foundation of the project under the patronage of Tourism Promotion and Christian Religious Affairs Minister John Amaratunga, a group of residents attempted to enter the premises and sabotage the programme. But, the police managed to get them under control. The structure, costing a whopping Rs. 25 million, is expected to be built on a plot of land that had been previously used as a playground. Addressing the ceremony, Minister Amaratunga said hundreds of families faced the threat of floods, and that they should be provided with shelter and urgent relief until the situation was back to normal. Pointing out that the proposed project would meet the long-felt need of a spacious welfare centre where all facilities were available to the displaced people, he said the building could also be used for weddings and other ceremonial occasions and meetings.
“At present, the displaced families are provided with makeshift shelters in temples and churches. They face hardships for want of water and sanitary facilities. However, the welfare centre will be built on state property that had been previously used as a playground, and the adjacent land will be developed as a playground. I received information that a group of supporters of the joint opposition was attempting to stage a protest and sabotage the project, but I will not allow it. It was with great difficulty that I obtained the approval for it, and I am prepared to implement the project in the interest of the people at any cost,” he said. Meanwhile, Ven. Piliyandala Gunarathana Thera delivered an Anusasana, while Rev. Fr. B.A. Shiran, Western Provincial Councillor Siri Kamal de Silva, Divisional Secretary W.G. Premalal and Director of Planning Kumudini Vithana addressed the gathering. However, a special police contingent had been deployed to step up the security in the area.