Anuradhapura on the verge of destruction | Daily News


Anuradhapura on the verge of destruction

The encroachment of tanks and road reservations, including the land reserved for public welfare and recreation, and unauthorised constructions in Anuradhapura world heritage city has become common.

These illegal activities have degraded the new city and the sacred city development systematically for which the white rulers in the past laid the foundation demarcating the Malwathu Oya River as the boundary line for separating the two cities.

At present, the areas near the two banks of Malwathu Oya River are in the grip of encroachers. In the new town zone, there are several government buildings constructed contracting the Walisinghe Harischandra Park along the Malwathu Oya River bank sparing a tinny landscape for public recreation requirements.

Also, the reservations of Nuwarawewa and Tisawewa tanks, the major water resources providing drinking water to nearly a population of 300,000 in Anuradhapura and the suburbs have been encroached. A recent survey has found that there are around 300 and 150 unauthorised buildings, including government offices, circuit bungalows and quarters, in Nuwarewewa and Tisawewa reservations, respectively.

Residents of the area complain that tourist hotels around the two tanks dispose garbage into the tanks. The other three minor tanks situated in Anuradhapura city namely, Kumbichchankulama, Ponnaramkulama and Wanniyankulama tanks are also under the threat of being contracted since the reservations have been occupied by encroachers.

Some archaeological site reservations too have been encroached for business and lodging purposes aiming tourists and devotees flowing into the proximity. Also, in the cover of Buddhist religious activities and missions, plots of land close to the eight places of worship (Atamasthana) and other ancient monuments and shrines, a large number of unauthorised structures have been put up. The situation has been a hindrance to continue archaeological research and excavations since the evacuation process is prolonging. It is learnt that the Auditor General has submitted a special investigation report over the present destructive situation of Anuradhapura sacred city.


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