The Nilwala gate at the southernmost entry point to the Southern Super-highway is, no doubt, a familiar sight for the users of this highway.
Construction work of the gate over, the wisdom of fixing life-like images of two crocodiles on either side of the Nilwala gate dawned on the Highway Ministry authorities, though a bit late in the day. The idea was to symbolize the crocodiles the Nilwala River was infested with.
In a rush these authorities got a foreign company to build two crocodile figures at a cost of several millions of rupees. Soon two crocodile figures were ready for installation on either end of the gate and they sought the advice of engineers for this exercise. A team of engineers who put their thick heads together about the impending task announced in one voice that the two metal crocodile figures were too heavy to be mounted on the gate and it would surely crash under their weight!
So the massive amount spent in foreign exchange on the construction of the two crocodile figures went down the drain!
The authorities soon realized that they would be in a fix if this failed affair went public. And they decided on a ploy that could bail them out. They got the engineers to mount the two crocodile figures on two hillocks on either side of the Nilwala gate to convey the impression to all and sundry that it was their plan right from the start.
The true story behind the crocodile figures is privy not only to the high ups, but also the small fry in the Highway Ministry, they say.