State Minister says Jogging Track on ‘Parakrama Samudraya’ to go ahead

State Minister says Jogging Track on ‘Parakrama Samudraya’ to go ahead

State Minister says Jogging Track on ‘Parakrama Samudraya’ to go ahead

Written by Staff Writer

16 Sep, 2021 | 7:09 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st); Despite widespread opposition, State Minister Roshan Ranasinghe insisted today that the jogging track planned to be constructed on top of the breakwater of the ancient Parakrama Samudra, one of Sri Lanka’s most iconic ancient hydraulic heritage sites, will continue.

The Minister said that it was only a small group of the Buddhist clergy and a few uninformed farmers who were opposed to the project, but that the vast majority of the people supported the project. He added that it was nothing but pure jealousy that was leading certain factions to oppose this project.

The ‘Parakrama Samudraya’ is a massive man-made body of water that has irrigated thousands of hectares of paddy for over 1,500 years. The ‘Wewa’ is an endemic hydraulic engineering feature found only in the island of Sri Lanka.

Construction on the jogging track began a few weeks ago, but was brought to a stand-still almost immediately when Buddhist clergy and several farmer groups protested at the site of construction. However, by this time, over a kilometer of the ‘bund’ had already been dismantled with large granite rocks removed and hurled into the water.

Many engineering experts spoke out immediately, voicing concerns on the irreversible damage that can be caused to the bund itself it the construction of the track continues.

This jogging track is planned at a location a few hundred meters away from another jogging track and outdoor gym.

Local farmer societies have vowed to protect the ancient ‘wewa’ with their lives, if called upon to do so.

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