Jan 25, 2022

SB, lawyer illegally filling up lands bordering Diyawannawa (Pics) Featured

A number of housing and private development projects are being carried out on the wetland areas on both sides of the Diyawanna Oya in the Koswatta area in Rajagiriya.

Upon investigating, 'Sri Lanka Mirror' learns that land from one end of this area belongs to former Minister S.B. Dissanayake.

The land is currently being used for GoCart racing and the land has been converted into a GoCart racetrack by well known motor racer - Suranjith Premadasa.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that a lawyer well known for building apartment housing is filling up another paddy field in the Koswatta area in Rajagiriya to carry out massive housing development projects.

Residents allege that the Kotte Mayor and other senior officials of the Kotte Municipal Council have backed these illegal constructions.

Large lorries carrying soil to the land had damaged the walls and gates of several houses in the area and a resident of the area had lodged a complaint with the Kotte Municipal Council and the police, but to no avail.

“Large lorries carrying soil to the land, said to be for the construction of apartments,  damaged the walls and gates of several of our houses in the area. Although they promised to repair the damages, so far nothing has happened and we have had to bear the loss,” a resident had told the 'Aruna' newspaper.

The land filled with soil has been closed with a large gate on one side and even the protected wetland area has been encroached upon when demarcating the land.

Some residents claim that this land is to be plotted and sold. However, during the heavy rainy season, the wetlands get flooded.

Environmentalists are of the opinion that implementing various development projects within this area could increase flooding woes.

Many of these lands are managed by the Sri Lanka Land Development Corporation.

The corporation has even erected billboards on these government lands stating that unauthorized entry, filling, construction or development of those lands is strictly prohibited and legal action will be taken against encroachers.

However, despite these warnings, all these illegal development activities are taking place on these lands.

"Conditions in land development violated"

Hemantha Kamalasiri, Deputy General Manager (Lands) of the Sri Lanka Land Development Corporation (SLLDC) when contacted by the Aruna newspaper regarding the construction work had said that lands to some extent on the reservation area belongs to the SLLDC and the lands outside the reserve are private lands.

However, he said that there are certain conditions that apply when developing these lands.

The Deputy General Manager said that a team of engineers was dispatched yesterday (24) to inspect the site and action would be taken as it was observed during inspection that a violation had taken place.

After the Lorries had caused damage to the walls, the damages are temporarily covered with tin sheets.

The illegally filled lands protected by gates (Blue gate).