Written by Staff Writer
28 Apr, 2014 | 4:03 pm
The government has taken steps to provide alternate lands for a group of unauthorised settlers in the North Sanctuary of the Wilpattu Reserve. Mannar District Secretary M.Y. Deshapriya says a fifty-acre plot of land in Mirichchakattuwa has been selected for this purpose.
News1st has reported on several prior occasions on the unauthorised settlement in the North Sanctuary of the Wilpattu Reserve.
Mannar District Secretary M.Y. Deshapriya says that 73 of the families in this unauthorised settlement have been selected for the resettlement programme.
Speaking to us, District Secretary of Mannar, M.Y. Deshapriya revealed following details:
“Surveyors have already been dispatched there and they are allocating plots of land there. We should be able to commence providing these plots within two weeks. It will take some time to resettle the people as the environment will have to be made conducive for settlement. “
He added: “We will be providing lands for those people who were living in the reserve. Usually, through the secretariat, lands are provided to people who do not have lands. What we are doing here is resettling people who were displaced. There are a large number of Sinhalese people as well in the South and in Anuradhapura who were displaced from here. We will be providing land to those people who have been registered.”
Environmentalist Ravindra Kariyawasam says that several homes have already been constructed at this unauthorised settlement in the North Sanctuary of the Wilpattu Reserve. He adds that the bio-diversity of the reserve has been harmed as a result of these unauthorised constructions.
Minister of Wildlife Resource Conservation, Vijith Wijayamuni Zoysa says that legal action will be initiated against the illegal settlers.
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