- The people of the country demand that the tree be protected
State Minister for Rural Roads Nimal Lansa said it would additionally cost as much as Rs.8 billion for the construction of the Central Expressway if its original route was altered to protect ‘Crudia Zeylanica’ tree.
Making his remarks in this regard in Anuradhapura to mark some road construction activities on March 4, the Minister said tax payers’ money would be spent for this project and therefore only the people should decide whether to change the original route of the expressway or not. “When we were progressing with work on the central expressway, we encountered this tree which is endemic. The people of the country demand that the tree be protected. We and the Cabinet Minister are listening to the people and taking necessary action. This is public money. If this plan is changed, we have to spend Rs. 8 billion more. This money belongs to the public. Environmental groups have stated that this tree could be uprooted and replanted. But we can’t do that. There is a public view that this tree should not be replaced. Then we have to change the route plan by spending Rs. 8 billion more,” he said.