Shanty dwellers willing to move out if govt. provides assistance

Published : 9:00 am  November 2, 2017 | No comments so far |  | 


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By Kusal Chamath   

Shanties along the costal, main and the Kelani Valley railway lines have created an eyesore much to the anxiety of the public and the environmental lovers who expressed concern about the damage done to natural surroundings of the beach. They pointed out that unauthorised erections along the beach were going on unchecked that they created a safe haven for individuals engaging in nefarious activities including drug peddling. They accused the local government institutions and the railways department for allowing shanties along the railway line. They pointed out that haphazard disposal of garbage along the beach had created serious health hazards.   

Railway passengers pointed out they were facing a danger due to the sharp edges of the zinc roofing sheets used on shanties. They pointed out that  hundreds of shanties had been erected with the storm water screen of the coastal line stations including Bambalapitiya as the common wall of shanties.   

Railway commuters said they had made continual requests to the Railways Department to remove the shanties along the railway line but the officials only blamed the politicians who obstructed any action.   

Residents of several areas along the coastal line who depend on tourism said the shanties along the coastal railway line marred the image of the country.   

“Tourists are surprised to see that people have been exposed to such dreadful conditions. The only question they ask is why the government is not concerned about the shanty dwellers living in utter misery. It causes much embarrassment to us. ” A tour guide said.   

Meanwhile the shanty dwellers said that they had been compelled to live in shanties for want of land and that they were prepared to leave the shanties if the government provided them land and housing aid. They said they were not willing to live in shanties exposing their children to the dangers from the train and the sea.   

The public were of opinion that Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Patalee Champika should give priority to this issue that had been neglected by successive governments since independence.