Wildlife officers of Polonnaruwa have detected an incident of releasing toilet waste in the Somawathiya National Park.
The historical Somawathiya Chaitya, where the right tooth of the Buddha is enshrined, is located inside this National Park.
Environmentalists said that this toilet waste has been released into the forest area located 300 meters away from the Chaitya by means of gully bowers, and the annual Dalada Perahara of the Somawathiya Raja Maha Vihara also takes place near the site where this waste has been released.
They said that the released waste mixes with the water and flows gradually to the Mahaweli River, and pigs and other animals come to feed on this waste. As a result, a strong stench emanates in the area around the temple grounds.
Polonnaruwa Wildlife Range Officer W.M. Kumarasiri and other wildlife officials first discovered that toilet waste was being released into an environmentally sensitive area by gully bowsers on December 11 last year and have notified the matter to the relevant departments responsible for managing waste.
However, due to the continuous discharge of toilet waste into the National Park, wildlife officials have taken steps to report the matter to the Polonnaruwa Magistrates’ Court.
Accordingly, Polonnaruwa Magistrate U.N.S.A. Wickramaratne ordered that the suspects be arrested and produced in court.
Polonnaruwa wildlife officials have made arrangements to produce the driver of the gully bowser in the court in the near future.
The Lankapura Pradeshiya Sabha operates a toilet waste disposal site and it charges Rs.3,500 per one gully.
Environmentalists said that despite the fact that there is a waste collection point, the disposal of waste in the Somawathiya National Park may pose a serious environmental threat in the future.
Source – Aruna