- Heavy congestion at Elakanda
- Residents complain no valuation reports received
By Sarath Chinthaka
Commuters have been faced with severe difficulties due to heavy traffic congestion in Elakanda Junction as a result of the delay in widening the Hekitta - Negombo Road in Wattala.
Since the fuel storage terminal, gas storage terminal and vast factories are located in Muthurajawela, fuel bowsers, containers loaded with LP gas cylinders, containers headed to factories and large lorries as well as buses travelling up to Bopitiya are required to pass the Elakanda Junction.
Similarly, a huge crowd come to the fish market in Elakanda each day increasing the congestion at the Elakanda Junction.
The dilapidated condition of Pamunugama Road and the culvert close to Elakanda Junction being subsided for many years serve as another cause for this traffic congestion.
The widening of the Hekitta - Negombo road had begun a long time ago. This situation has arisen owing to the apathy of the Road Development Authority (RDA).
The former Western Provincial Council Member, Laurence Madiwela who is a resident of the area said that a part of his land where his house and his shop were located would be taken by the newly widened road and he was ready to sacrifice his land for the betterment of the public.
He also emphasized the need to pay compensations to those who are subjected to losses after appraising the buildings which were to be removed.
“We have not received valuation reports yet. The former Minister John Amaratunga had informed the Gampaha Road Development Authority and Gampaha Valuation Department on a several occasion in writing however with no response received yet.
Therefore, many people coming to Elakanda Junction are facing severe inconveniences. This problem would not have arisen if people had been given fair compensation. I believe President Gotabaya Rajapaksa would pay attention to this issue,” he added.
Patrick Alwis, a businessman who will lose his properties due to the widening of the road said that it had caused him the biggest loss.
“My shop is located in Elakanda Junction itself. The topic on widening Hekitta - Negombo Road began 30-40 years ago. However, no permanent solution had been given yet. We inherited these buildings from our forefathers and they have a great market value. We could release them if we were given compensation based on fair appraisal,” he said.
When inquired, Wattala Divisional Secretariat, P.D.T.C. Rajika said that Gampaha Valuation Department was informed in writing on several occasions to provide the valuation report after appraising lands which are to be acquired to widen the Hekitta - Negombo Road.
“A reminder was sent on March 29 last year and no answer was received. If they can handover the land appraisals to the landowners, they will agree if satisfied. Otherwise, they will give their comments with which we may conclude,” she added.