Parakrama Samudraya: Experts call out for sanity; irreversible damage to ancient #Wewa

Parakrama Samudraya: Experts call out for sanity; irreversible damage to ancient #Wewa

Parakrama Samudraya: Experts call out for sanity; irreversible damage to ancient #Wewa

Written by Zulfick Farzan

02 Sep, 2021 | 4:45 am

COLOMBO (News 1st); Sri Lanka’s famed Former Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe said the damage caused to the breakwater of the Parakrama Samudra is beyond repair.

He visited the site on Wednesday (01) and noted that the damage caused to the ancient irrigation system was serious.

“It is not wrong for the people to unite and curse those who decided to cause damage to the Parakrama Samudra,” he said.

He noted that vehicles were prohibited from entering the bund of the Parakrama Samudra due to the impact it may have on the ancient irrigation system.

Former President Maithripala Sirisena said many irrigational engineers and professionals contacted him following the expose’ of the damage caused to the breakwater of the Parakrama Samudra and stressed that any form of construction would threaten the existence of the ancient irrigation system.

“Engineers say that when large machines are used to remove rocks from the ground, the vibrations have a serious impact on the bund,” he said.

In 1978, a super cyclone caused serious damage to Sri Lanka and the bund of the Parakrama Samudra was also damaged.

An engineer who was involved in the 1978 Parakrama Samudra renovation project told News 1st that the breakwater of the ancient irrigation system was repaired with extreme care because of its importance.

‘We carried out the repairs by hand because it is not suitable to use heavy machinery on an ancient man-made irrigation system like the Parakrama Samudra,’ he said.

Former Ministry Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi, who was an Irrigation Engineer during that period said that it was not wise to build walkways along the bund.

Repairs on the breakwater of the Parakrama Samudra are yet to commence, after the construction of a jogging track was suspended following intervention from the Maha Sangha.

On August 27th, video obtained by News 1st showed that bulldozers were being used to shove the rocks of the breakwater into the Parakrama Samudraya to construct a new jogging track around the ancient water system.

This 08 feet wide walking path will cover a 1.7 km stretch from the Divisional Secretary Official Residence to the D. S. Senanayake memorial at the Number 01 Sluice Gate of the Parakrama Samudraya.

The proposal for this walking path was moved by the Urban Development Authority and construction will cost a whopping Rs. 34 million.

The great King Parakramabahu who ruled the country for 33 years from 1153 AD- 1186 AD asked his countrymen to use water sparingly.

History reveals that King Parakramabahu had made an immense contribution towards the agricultural industry in the country and the Parakrama Samudra was his greatest ever contribution to the people of Sri Lanka.

King Parakramabahu’s famous quote on water conservation and utilization “Do not release even a drop of rainwater to the sea without using it ” is still living in the hearts of the people.

This is sound advice to many present-day people who do not know the value of this nature’s gift.

This water system is so large it was called samudhraya or ocean.

In addition to that, strong winds cause swells in the Parakrama Samudraya, so large to the size of ocean waves.

It is this breakwater that has protected the water in the Parakrama Samudraya for centuries, without letting a drop of water go to waste.

The construction of a walking path clearly slaps an insult to the great knowledge that our ancestors possessed in creating such marvels that even stun today’s engineering giants.

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