Extension of Southern Expressway will cause serious harm to the environment- residents warn

Extension of Southern Expressway will cause serious harm to the environment- residents warn

Extension of Southern Expressway will cause serious harm to the environment- residents warn

Written by Tharushan Fernando

25 Jun, 2016 | 9:55 pm

Local communities are claiming that plans to build the section of the Southern Expressway from Matara to Beliatta, across the Aparekka, Thambagalla Reserve, will cause serious environmental harm.

The expressway is being extended from Matara to Beliatta via the village of Kaluhenwala. Surveying for the construction had been completed and construction work has already commenced.

Residents claim that building the expressway across the Aparekka -Thambagalla Reserve, will have a serious detrimental impact on the delicate balance of the eco-system.The Thambagalla Reserve is home to scenic waterfalls, streams. many endangered and endemic species of flora and fauna and the Thambagalla Aranya Senasanaya, a forest ashram.

Residents fear that excavation that has been undertaken on private lands to supply earth for the construction of the expressway, will cause increased landslide activity in the area.Chief Convener of the Rainforest Protectors, Jayantha Wijeysinghe pointed out that this is a protected reserve with a very valuable bio-diversity and hundreds of endemic species of flora and fauna which are very important to the balance of Sri Lanka’s eco-system can be found here.

He added that surveying up-to this area have been completed and the fact that many large trees in the area will be cut down to make way for the expressway means that serious environmental harm could be caused by this.

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