By H.M.Dharmapala and Kusal Chamath
Residents of several areas along the Panadura – Newdawa road stressed the urgent need to widen the road beyond Eluvila junction. They pointed out that the road built more than 100 years ago running through an area of dense population had not been improved since its inception and that the families living along the road were constantly faced with the danger of meeting with accidents due to the ever increasing number of vehicles plying on the narrow road.
They pointed out that the road constructed more than 100 years ago, had not been widened in keeping with population increase. They pointed out that thousands of vehicles including passenger buses packed to their capacity were running along this road every hour and that it was with great difficulty that the vehicles running in the opposite direction could pass each other.
A resident of Newdawa, Premasiri Vithanachchi pointed out that the Panadura – Newdawa road was one of the main bus routes in the Panadura area and that passenger buses running in opposite directions got jammed at bends creating heavy traffic congestion. He said collisions of vehicle occur almost every day due to the narrowness of the road. He stressed the need to improve the road to meet the demand of a large number of vehicles plying on this road which had increased in a large proportion over the last decade.
“Widening of the road has been a long overdue need. We are living in constant fear of the possible danger to our children walking along the road, particularly to schools in the morning. Vehicles running at excessive speed regardless of the road conditions had caused several serious accidents. The road should be widened and the bends straightened to prevent accidents. In many instances vehicles had crashed into wayside garden walls, street lamp posts and even other vehicles parked by the roadside. During rush hour schoolchildren walking along the road are exposed to accidents. Officials of the RDA said road widening would involve acquisition of land and demolishing of thousands of residences, and that it was a serious challenge facing any project to widen the road. However they should not be deterred by that challenge in view of an urgent public need” He said.
Residents of the area requested the Western Provincial Council and the RDA to widen the Panadura – Newdawa road which was an urgent need.