Sep 09, 2020

Mass deforestation in Matale Featured

Environmental groups allege that people relentlessly setting fire to forests in the Matale district are causing serious damage to the natural environment.

It is reported that a large area of land in the Matale Naula Divisional Secretariat alone has been destroyed due to this and relevant authorities were forced to take extra efforts to extinguish the fires.

Residents of the area, officers of the Naula office of the Forest Department and the Naula Police Station, as well as a number of Pradeshiya Sabha officers have been busy recently due to this reason.

At a recent meeting held at the Matale Nalanda College, on these fires, Matale District Parliamentarian - Rohini Kaviratne had emphasised the danger of this situation.

"Illegal land raids and constructions are taking place all over Matale. As the whole country is going towards a state of lawlessness, Matale has become the biggest victim. The attention given to destruction of lagoons and the Sinharaja forest is not given to the deforestation taking place in Rattota, Knuckles and Moragahakanda in Matale. The environmentally sensitive area of Muwagala hill has fallen victim to forest clearers. If this continues, the villages of Udupihilla, Kirimetiyawa and Deke Kanuwa will lose their drinking water sources. Trees in sanctuaries which existed during the election campaigning period have been cut down barely two weeks after the government has swept into power. If this continues, this government will create a desert for the Matale area," she said.