Land area in Knuckles forest reserve cleared unlawfully for vegetable cultivation

Land area in Knuckles forest reserve cleared unlawfully for vegetable cultivation

Land area in Knuckles forest reserve cleared unlawfully for vegetable cultivation

Written by Staff Writer

13 Sep, 2020 | 9:29 pm

COLOMBO (News1st): Around five areas of land in the Knuckles Forest Reserve have been cleared by a private entity to commence vegetable cultivation, officials said.

“We express our regret over the manner in which land has been cleared in a sensitive ecological zone,” a forest conservation officer told News1st.

Officials said that the individuals involved in clearing the land did not have any legal document to prove their ownership.

Environmentalists have raised concerns over the environmental destruction caused due to clearing the land.

“There is a risk that silt could be deposited in the Victoria Reservoir due to these activities that have taken place in violation of the Soil Conservation Act,” environmentalist Pradeep Samarawickrama said.

Regional officers of the forest conservation department said that their records do not indicate that the land area had been owned by a private entity.

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