By H.M. Dharmapala and Kusal Chamath
Pavements in Galle Road from Sri Dharmapalarama Road Junction in Mount Lavinia up to the Maliban Junction in Ratmalana have been in a dilapidated condition with broken down gully covers creating death traps.
Residents of the area pointed out the pavements at several locations had not been maintained for years.
A resident of the area said the flyover bridge created a series of issues and that the obstructions to free flow of storm water and waste water was mainly caused by the ill-advised project. They pointed out that the flyover in Dehiwala city was a failed project that resulted in a colossal waste of public funds and only aggravated the traffic congestion.
“Several accidents had occurred at the entrance to the flyover and vehicles involved had caused extensive damage to the protective fence for want of a colour signal system to distinguish the entrance to the flyover and the road below. The Galle Road in the city was in a perfect state before the construction works of the flyover commenced. The constructions works caused extensive damage to the sewers and the storm water drains. The underground sewers were damaged. However, the flyover failed to resolve the traffic congestion in the town. In fact it was worsened after constructing the flyover. The flow of waste water from the leaking servers and the storm water cause hardship to the pedestrians and the passengers waiting for buses in front of the shops near the flyover,” he said.
A trader, 55-year-old Milton Wijesuriya said the ill-planned development activities turned the Galle Road and the pavements into an eyesore and that the traders in the town were in a predicament due to the breakdown of utility services.
“Pavements were demolished and re-constructed several times under the ill-planned development projects. The stretch of Galle Road from Kawdana Road junction to Siripala Road junction which had been wide enough is now obstructed by the 2-feet wide centre island. A jeep veered off the road and crashed into a street lamp post. Meanwhile, the splish-splash of waste when vehicles pass through waste water and storm water that submerged the road often hit the shops and boutiques by the roadside. Several gullies are overflowing much to the inconvenience of the pedestrians,” he said.
Residents of the area requested the Dehiwala - Mount Lavinia Municipal Council and other relevant authorities to look into the issues affecting the Dehiwala city and to implement a well planned project to repair the pavements, storm water drains and the gullies along the Galle Road.