Authorities turning blind eye to Nawala land grab?

By Asif Fuard

Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation (SLLRDC) workers prepare to remove unauthorized structures at the end of Araliya Gardens in Nawala.
The SLLRDC this week carried out an operation to remove unauthorized structures in a land reserved as a water retention area in Nawala. A special unit was set up by SLLRDC Chairman Somaweera Chandrasiri to carry out the demolition.

An illegal grab of state land has been occurring in Nawala by a bakery owner who had allegedly been filling up a large area of marshy land.

The bakery owner had purchased a 12 perch property and has been allegedly extending it by filling the adjoining marsh. Complaints to the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation Corporation had brought no response.

However, last week Police had summoned the owner and warned him.

“The tractors come usually on a Saturday or Sunday and dump waste or sand on the land.” said a neighbouring resident. The 12 perch land was said to have been extended to around 70 perches.

The marshy land, which is also a bird sanctuary is facing sever environmental issues due to the illegal filling. Residents in the area had complained that the waste from the land owner’s catering service too is being dumped at the land.

Local authorities recently constructed through this land. But the illegal filling has blocked the canal.


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