cause serious threats to environment

Published : 9:15 am  January 3, 2019 | No comments so far |  | 

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Shanties along the railway lines

LATE-CITY-DM-18-220

By Kusal Chamath and H.M.Dharmapala   

Shanties along the coastal, 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 caused to natural surroundings of the beach. Meanwhile the children living in shanties along the railway line are facing the danger of being run over by train. On Sunday, a little child standing on the railway line at Koralawella when the Colombo bound power set train from Kalutara at about 11.30 p.m. had a narrow escape. The driver sounded the horn continually at a distance and applied the emergency brakes while the bystanders were petrified.   


The public said the unauthorized erections along the beach were going on unchecked, creating a safe haven for individuals engaging in nefarious activities including drug and Ganja 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 from shanties caused extensive environmental pollution and created a serious health hazard.   
Railway passengers pointed out they were facing a danger due the shanties with sharp edges of the zinc roofing sheets standing teeth and jaw with the railway line. They pointed out that the hundreds of shanties had been erected using the storm water screen of the coastal line stations including Bambalapitiya as the common wall of shanties.   


Railway passengers 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 alone 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,” tour guide said.  Meanwhile the shanty dweller 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 train and the sea.   


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

 

 

Railway passengers pointed out they were facing a danger due the shanties with sharp edges of the zinc roofing sheets standing teeth and jaw with the railway line  

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