Proposal to construct a road across the sensitive area of the Rumassala Mountain.

Proposal to construct a road across the sensitive area of the Rumassala Mountain.

Proposal to construct a road across the sensitive area of the Rumassala Mountain.

Written by Tharusha Kumarasinghe

22 Feb, 2021 | 10:10 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st): The Chairman of the Habaraduwa Pradeshiya Sabha, Dilshan Widanagamage said, the proposal to construct a road across the sensitive area of the Rumassala Mountain was a request by hotel owners of the area.

However, the Ministry of Environment, issuing a media release yesterday said, the request came forward from area residents.

The Ministry of Environment said, the Minister of Environment, Mahinda Amaraweera has requested a report regarding the residents’ request to construct a minor road through the Rumassala area.

The release from the Ministry of Environment said the Minister had requested to determine whether the road can be constructed without damaging the highly sensitive eco-system.

However, Environmentalists claim plans are underway to construct a 20-foot wide carpet road from Yaddehimulla to the Rumassala Peella Junction.

Environmentalists further claimed the Habaraduwa Pradeshiya Sabha had already approved the project.

However, another dimension of this matter was uncovered when News 1st investigated further.

Chairman of the Habaraduwa Pradeshiya Sabha – Dilshan Vidanagamage stated that a letter forwarded by 120 members of a recently formed Tourist Hoteliers Association has been submitted to the Minister of Tourism.

According to the Chairman, they have requested a 40-foot wide road.

Chairman of the Habaraduwa Pradeshiya Sabha Dilshan Vidanagamage pointed out that this is a road mentioned in the Survey Department’s Plan compiled in 1972.

The Chairman also stated that the road passes through the Sensitive Zone only through a distance of 180 meters.

But the Divisional Secretary of Habaraduwa, Tharanga Wickremarathne said, the initial request regarding the road was made by the Habaraduwa Pradeshiya Sabha.

She further said, upon an inquiry from the Department of Surveys, they informed her that a road spanning 40 feet was planned in 1958.

She added, the road development authority had inquired from her regarding the matter as well.

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