Sri Lanka is being touted as the best tourist destination by quite a few travel magazines. Certainly it is an achievement that makes any Sri Lankan proud. Unique locations, low cost, friendly and helpful locals, cleanliness, clean air and hassle free travelling have contributed to this feat.
However, it is a fact that there are still some areas where improvements are necessary in the quest to make the island a much more pleasant place to visit. Even otherwise these changes can be considered mandatory enhancements of the quality of life of an average citizen living here now that Sri Lanka holds the rank of a second-world country.
Certainly the noise on our roads is much less compared to other South Asian cities. Still one cannot miss the tooting of the bikes and the beeping of three-wheelers. Besides, even some motorists too have the habit of honking their horns at regular intervals. The bikers seem to be under the impression that it is obligatory for motorists to give them space in-between lanes.
If there’s not enough space they would start tooting the horn till motorists make way for them. Often a biker is joined by a whole lot of fellow bikers behind him in tooting the horn, thus creating a big nuisance.
They continue to do this even when it’s quite obvious that there’s no space for motorists to manoeuvre their vehicles to allow the bikers to proceed. This is quite a common scenario during the heavy traffic hours in the morning and school hours. The three-wheelers too create the same problem.
It’s time that the traffic authorities came up with a fresh set of regulations to fight this irritant. A system of spot fines should be introduced to fight this annoyance.
Other than noise pollution, another area that deserves more attention is the visual pollution by way of the indiscriminate display of posters.
It is imperative that the local councils find means of banning posters, especially of tutors, defacing the otherwise tidy city walls. These posters certainly pose an eyesore even for locals.
Despite other measures to spruce up Colombo and suburban areas, consecutive governments have miserably failed to address this issue so far. As a result, areas like Borella and suburban cities like Rajagiriya, Nugegoda and Maharagama remain the worst affected by this ugly display of posters.
The local councils can put up a few designated boards for the purpose of pasting posters and organise a system of night patrols to prevent anyone using other spaces for the purpose.
It’s a nuisance that needs to be addressed at any cost, as even highly residential areas have not been spared by those who put up posters on tuition classes, dramas, movies and sales promotions.
Besides, there are several unattended alleyways that takeaway the beauty of even otherwise tidy metropolises. Some have formed drains. Often along these, one sees several unauthorized structures or shacks. Colombo and the suburbs are full of such places, and a visit by the mayors and heads of local bodies to such places will make them realize the health hazard they pose while being an eye sore.