Botanical Garden boundaries to be redefined under new Act

The Botanical Gardens Act No. 31 of 1928 will be amended to redefine the boundaries of all botanical gardens in the country to stop illegal settlements and constructions.

Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said that the new Bill has already been submitted to the Legal Draftsman’s Department. “The Botanic Gardens Ordinance, which is more than 90 years old, was slightly amended in 1973 under the new Republican Constitution and no other amendments have been made to date.

Basil Rajapaksa, then Minister of Economic Development, had made some attempt in this regard in 2010 but it too had stalled. Ordinance No. 31 of 1928 covered only the Peradeniya, Haggala and Gampaha Botanical Gardens. Currently, the Hambantota Dry Zone Botanical Gardens and the Avissawella Wet Zone Botanic Gardens are open. The boundaries of the Peradeniya, Haggala and Gampaha Botanical Gardens will be included in the First Schedule of the Botanical Gardens Ordinance No. 31 of 1928. The Minister said it has been decided to include it in the first schedule of the Botanic Gardens Ordinance and to include it in the new Ordinance as well as in connection with the gazette notification of the boundaries of dry zone and wet zone botanical gardens which were initiated later,” he said.

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