No public funds wasted - CCD | Daily News


Mount Lavinia beach sand erosion:

No public funds wasted - CCD

The Coast Conservation Department yesterday flatly rejected claims that public funds to the tune of Rs.890 million had been wasted as a result of the apparent washing away of the sand pumped under the ‘sand nutrition’ project at Mount Lavinia Beach. 

Addressing a news conference at the Department of Information, CCD Director General B K Prabhath Chandrakeerthi said the shoreline is being reconfigured with this sand to the north of the existing beach. This development of the beach area was one of the main aims of the project. He said the Port City project had no connection with this incident. 

Chandrakeerthi said the figure of Rs.890 million was the total amount allocated to minimize erosion at three places including Mount Lavinia, Ratmalana and Kalutara- Calido beaches. A sum of Rs.110 was spent on Mount Lavinia, where 150,000 cubes of sand were pumped.  

The proposal of the project was put forward by the Department of Coast Conservation and Coastal Resource Management and the main aim of the project carried out by an international organization under the supervision of the Coast Conservation Department, was to prevent erosion at the beach. It was also aimed at making the beach more conducive to fisheries and tourism. 

Accordingly, he said that the Cabinet approval was granted to this project on May 08, 2019 and the project was commenced from February 29, 2020 at Kalutara-Calido beach. He added a feasibility study was done by the Department prior to the commencement of the project. 

The sand for this project is obtained from a sand deposit located 2-6 Km away from Ratmalana. The environmental licence for this deposit was updated in 2018 for three years. However, the newly added sand had been washed away within one and half months. He said that however no erosion had occurred, adding that the project was planned for a certain amount of sand to be washed away. “We expected that sand will be deposited at the north side of the beach”, he said. 

Speaking at the event, The Coast Conservation Department Chief Engineer Sujeewa Ranawaka said that the artificial sand nutrition project is best solution in the world to prevent the erosion and this project is a success. 

Meanwhile, an inquiry is in the works concerning the washing away of the sand piles that created an artificial beach between Kalutara and Mount Lavinia, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Chairman Professor G.L. Peiris yesterday said. The government shall take necessary action concerning the matter following the findings of the inquiry, he added. 

Prof. Peiris made these observations at a press brief held yesterday at the SLPP headquarters. SLPP General Secretary Sagara Kariyawasam and SLPP Kalutara district representative Sanjeewa Edirimanna also spoke at the press brief. 

The inquiry will investigate if sufficient overseeing and monitoring was done by the responsible government agencies concerning the project, it was also pointed out. 

As a government that is responsible to its people, we will inquire into this matter and if some party has acted with a wrong intention, necessary action shall be taken against those persons or entities, it was also said.  

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