Whose land is it ?

Published : 9:01 am  August 2, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 


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Who is filling Attidiya Marshland ?


By H.M.Dharmapala and Kusal Chamath

Residents said that they were perturbed about illegal filling in marshy land in Attidiya Wildlife Zone which could create floods affecting a large population.

They pointed out that the marshy land had been used for paddy cultivation by several individuals and now they claim possession of a vast area and filling them for other purposes, without least concern about its environmental damage and the flood that could be caused because of filling.

Meanwhile, environmentalists pointed out that filling of marshland had obstructed the free flow of stormwater into the Weresganga which flooded a large residential area.

They said their representations in this regard to the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation Commission and the Municipal Council was of no help.

Member of the Dehiwala – Mount Lavinia Municipal Council Tuan Ayub Mohamed said he received several public complaints in this regard from the people in Attidiya that a sheet fence had been erected around a vast area of the marshy land by a landowner.

“The landowner is filling a part of the marshy land as his private property with machinery and equipment,” they said.

“The stormwater drains have been obstructed with earth preventing the free flow of water into the river. A large population in the area is facing a serious flood threat.

“Hundreds of houses had gone underwater causing damage to property. The marshy land forming a part of the Bellanwila Wildlife Zone is protected by the Fauna and Flora Ordinance No.03 of 1955 and as a national heritage. “It is illegal to fill the marshy land.

“The issue was taken up by Ratmalana Coordinating Committee meeting on July 30. Dehiwala – Mount Lavinia Mayor, the Divisional Secretary, the Municipal Commissioner, and representatives of the Agrarian Services Department attended the meeting.

“They instructed the Municipal Commissioner to order the individuals concerned to refrain from filling the marshy land,” he said.