Encroachers devastate tank reservations in Anuradhapura | Daily News


Encroachers devastate tank reservations in Anuradhapura

The delay in demarcating reservations of major reservoirs in Anuradhapura has helped illegal activities in tank reservations, Anuradhapura Additional Government Agent (Land) Keerthi Gamage told Daily News.

He said that many people encroached on reserved lands because they do not know the boundaries of tank reservations since these have not been demarcated yet.

Encroaching on tank reservations has intensified now causing irreparable damages to tank structures. Time has come for the Land Commissioner General, Surveyor General and the Irrigation Director General to make firm decision to prevent encroachment, he said.

At the recently held Anuradhapura Agriculture Committee meeting chaired by Additional Government Agent Keerthi Gamage, Tisawewa Farmer Organization Chairman Sahan Bahujeewa said the reservation limits of Tisawewa has decreased from 100 m to 132 feet now and a number of tourist hotels have been constructed in the reservation.

Nuwaragampalatha Central Divisional Secretary R.M.P. Senarathne said that since the reservation limit has been decreased as a result of a letter addressed to the Land Commissioner Department by the irrigation authorities, the remaining reservation land are taken by encroachers.

Mahawilachchiya Farmer Organization Chairman R.M.S.Ekanayake said that unauthorised houses, cultivation, wells and other such constructions in the Mahawilachchiya tank reservation are continuing. Mahakanadarawa Farmers’ Organisation Chairman R.M.R.Rajapaksha said the tanks reservation area was encroached on for cultivation and housing. He said that even a government department has put up a circuit bungalow in a tank reservation amidst objections by farmers, the CEA and the irrigation authorities.

Nachchaduwa Farmers’ Organization Chairman R.M. Punchirala and Rajanganya Farmers’ Organization Chairman Nihal Wanniarachchi urged the authorities to intervene immediately to stop the tank reservation encroachment.

Huruluwewa Farmers’ Organiztion Chairman Upali Ekanayaka said that unauthorised chena cultivation destructs the Huruluwewa tank reservation and the Wildlife Department has erected even a protective electric fence to protect the cultivation thereby supporting the illegal activities.

The Anuradhapura Government Agent, meanwhile, has instructed the Divisional Secretaries to take remedial action after discussing the issue and explaining the value of the reservations with the relevant parties including the encroachers.


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