President directs to evacuate encroachers
President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday instructed the authorities to
take measures to evacuate unauthorised settlers in forest reserves,
dried up areas of tanks and catchment areas irrespective of their
He made this observation at the special Kurunegala District
Development Committee meeting at the Wayamba Cooperative Rural Bank
auditorium, Kurunegala yesterday.
President Rajapaksa told officials to evacuate settlers in the
Elephant Corridor and find a lasting solution to the human-elephant
The President said nobody has the right to take over state land
He said he has received many complaints that encroachers have settled
in forest reserves and dried up areas of tanks and catchment areas.
The President said these encroachers have to be evacuated for the
benefit of the entire country. President Rajapaksa said Kurunegala and
Puttalam districts were suffering due to a water shortage and the
government was taking measures to address the issue.
A farmer participating at the meeting said they cultivated in dried
up and catchment areas as there was no adequate water for cultivation.
The President in response said the tanks provide water to lands
cultivated extending to 400 to 500 acres and these water resources
should not be interrupted.
He instructed the authorities to renovate the tanks across the
country and take measures to resettle the unauthorised settlers. The
President said more than 500 acres of forest reserves in the Kurunegala
district have been encroached on making the human – elephant conflict
severe. The people in Elephant Corridors too should be evacuated and
settled outside the electric fences to minimise the conflict, President
He instructed the authorities to set up tanks in forest reserves and
also create a conducive environment for elephants to roam. The President
also instructed the authorities to complete the buildings, roads and
bridges abandoned halfway, before commencing other projects. He said
foundation stones should not be laid if projects cannot be completed.
President Rajapaksa also instructed officials to design plans of
projects on the money allocated and not to abandon half way after
designing massive projects. Officers said among many achievements, the
Deduru Oya Project which will address the water issue in the area, is
more than 75 percent complete.