Encroaching on reservations in Anuradhapura continues

The encroachment of reservations belonging to the major tanks in the Anuradhapura district continues, while law-enforcing authorities such as Divisional Secretaries, Wildlife, Forest Conservation and Irrigation officials carry out prevention measures. It was reported that similar to the large-scale encroachment of reservations of the Nuwara Wewa, Tissa Wewa and Abaya Wewa tanks situated close to Anuradhapura, the reservations of Mahakanadarawa and Rajangana too, are becoming a prey to encroachers. Referring to the environmental pollution and water contamination taking place at the Mahakanadarawa tank, Farmer Organizations Chairman R. M. R. Rajapaksha told the Daily News that a large-scale illegal timber racket was recently found within the tank reservation along the banks of Kanadara Oya. He said that there was information that crown land grants and land permits have been given to lands located within the reservation landscape.

The dumping of garbage in a land situated close to the reservoir is polluting the tank’s water and the environmental around it, Rajapaksha added. He said that a particular type of weed called ‘Hambu’ is invading the tank in addition to lotus, which has seemingly been introduced purposely to the tank, thus threatening itswellbeing. Rajapaksha said that encroachers were encouraged by the construction of a circuit bungalow belonging to a government department within the tank reservation.

In the meantime, Rajangana Integrated Farmer Organization Chairman Nihal Wanniarachchi said that the evacuation process commenced some two years back against the encroachers is now at a standstill and the tank is now contracting and on the verge of destruction.

The unwarranted cultivation in the tank bed is in progress again. Under the cover of disposing sediment, there is unlawful sand-digging continuing within the tank reservation, Wanniarachchi added. We have complained to the Anuradhapura government agent that the proposal to use the Rajangana tank as the water source for a water supply scheme shall be discouraged. 

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