By Yohan Perera
Former State Minister of Environment Ajith Mannapperuma, along with former MPs S.M. Marikkar and Hirunika Premachandra, said yesterday the true reason for the washing away of the Mount Lavinia beach was the use of a faulty method to fill up the coast.
They said funds to develop several beaches were allocated during the tenure of the former regime and that the previous government did not intend to rush the project but expected to do it in an eco-friendly manner.
“It was true that the project was initiated by former Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka. Funds were allocated to develop beaches in Ratmalana, Mount Lavinia and Kalutara. Our project included all these beaches. However, the present government rushed the project with Cabinet approval and went ahead with it at a time when the sea was rough. You don’t fill up the sea when it is rough. Engineers recommend the ‘sand engine’ method to fill up the coast. It would not have washed away if this method was used,” Mr. Mannapperuma said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Marikkar said it was not fair to pass the buck to the previous regime when it had become a failure. “The country lost at least Rs.800 million because the incumbent government rushed the project. The work on filling up the Mount Lavinia beach was done hurriedly when the country was on lockdown with COVID-19,” he said.
However, Ms. Premachandra said the project had been implemented violating both civil and environmental laws. “The civil law is violated as filling up was down during curfew. Environment laws have been violated by carrying it out without an environment assessment certificate,” she said.
- Project implemented violating both civil and environmental laws