Residents, tourism promoters request govt. to suspend filling project
By H.M.Dharmapala and Kusal Chamath
Residents of the Mt. Lavinia area and the business community engaged in tourism have expressed concern over the filling of the Mt. Lavinia beach resulting in extensive damage to its natural beauty.
They said the Mount Lavinia beach had been a tourist attraction for more than a century for its natural beauty, and it would soon be an artificial beach similar to a sand dune. They pointed out that a vast area of the beach had already been filled. The businessmen engaged in tourism pointed out that facilities for bathing, swimming and other recreational activities would be denied to the local and foreign tourists.
Dehiwala – Mount Lavinia Municipal Council member Kumara Sanjeewa Gomes who represents the area said that no permission for the project had been granted by the MC, and that it was in question why it had been implemented. He said he had received information that the project implemented at a colossal expenditure had been undertaken by a foreign company and that the filling was going on at night even during the curfew.
“This is an ill advised project. All reefs that enhanced the beauty of sea belt and protected the beach from trembling waves during the rough seas have been covered with sand pumped from the deep sea. The fishermen of the area would be in a predicament due to the loss of their livelihood. Fishermen engaging in off shore fishing would be the worst affected by the damage caused to the breeding grounds of fish,” the MC member said
Several local politicians and the residents of the area requested the government to suspend the project considering the ill effects of the project affecting thousands of people.