|Tuesday, 18 January 2005|
by Manjula Fernando
The government yesterday issued orders to the police for strict implementation of the law banning any construction within the forbidden coastal stretch be islandwide.
Public Securities and Law and order Ministry Secretary Tilak Ranaviraja has instructed IGP Chandra Fernando to ensure strict enforcement of the law with minimum force and also to shift the temporary tents put up by the displaced inland.
"However, the inhabitants of houses not damaged by the tidal waves are allowed to go back to their houses for the time being," Ranaviraja told the media at his Ministry yesterday.
He said police are empowered to remove all new buildings near the sea, up to 100 metres in the densely populated southern and western coast and up to 200 metres in the Northern and Eastern parts.
Such temporary tents housing the displaced in Hambantota are to be removed by police. Ranaviraja said they prevented an attempt at encroachment of a forest in Ulla by a displaced population.
The media conference also attended by IGP Chandra Fernando was convened to officially announce the government's future policy on constructions in the coastal areas.
The Secretary said a total of around 75,000 houses have been completely destroyed by the tsunami waves and the number of houses within the banned stretch is being assessed through the District Secretaries.
"Arrangements are in progress to acquire private lands to build permanent housing for the displaced in instances where state land is not available," Ranaviraja said adding that the housing project will start from Hambantota under supervision of the Task Force on Reconstruction headed by Mano Tittawella.
Produced by Lake House