President Gotabaya Rajapaksa who visited Neluwa-Lankagama on Saturday (29) to get firsthand information of the situation pointed out that the long-felt need of the rehabilitation of the road should be carried out while protecting the Sinharaja Forest Reserve and nearby vicinities.
During the last few days, electronic, print and social media reported that rehabilitation work of Neluwa-Lankagama road is causing damage to Sinharaja Forest Reserve and the surrounding ecosystem.
After inspecting suspended development work the President pointed out that the long-felt need of the rehabilitation of the road should be carried out while protecting the Sinharaja Forest Reserve and nearby vicinities, President’s Office said.
The history of Lankagama area dates back to King Walagamba period. Tea plantation is the main livelihood of the people living there. For over a period of 100 years villagers transport their tea leaves to Deniyaya and Neluwa through the road close to Sinharaja Forest.
The unsatisfactory condition of the road hinders transportation of patients to Neluwa, Udugama and Karapitiya hospitals. It also causes many hardships to the children pursuing their education as well as to the day-to-day activities of the villagers. Rehabilitating “Neluwa- Lankagama- Pitadeniya” road was commenced as a measure to address these difficulties.
Simultaneously, 120 feet long and 6 feet wide bridge will be constructed to replace the existing hanging bridge over Ginganga in Lankagama. This will facilitate children in Wathugala, Lankagama, Nilwella, Kolonthotuwa and Pitadeniya to reach their schools.
President directed the officials to distribute 3 plants to each of 700 families in Lankagama and to get the families to nurture the total of 2100 plants and add them to the forest reserve.