Muthurajawela to become National Park

Environment Ministry Secretary Dr. Anil Jasinghe said that a Cabinet paper has already been drafted to convert the Muthurajawela Sanctuary to a National Park.

The Secretary was speaking at the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) chaired by Prof. Tissa Vitharana in Parliament.

Dr. Anil Jasinghe said that a joint committee has been appointed inclusive of all parties responsible for the conservation of the Muthurajawela Sanctuary as recommended by the previous meeting of the COPA. It was mentioned that the committee will be co-chaired by the Secretaries of the Urban Development Ministry, Wildlife and Forest Conservation Ministry.

The discussions have been carried out for empowering the committee and a Cabinet paper has already been drafted. It is essential to appoint an action committee consisting of representatives of all relevant institutions and environmental organizations to assist the committee.

The COPA Committee drew its attention to the fact that the Western Province Governor had passed a resolution in the Gampaha District Development Committee on January 27 stating that over 600 acres of all private lands in Muthurajawela Eco-Sensitive Zone by the Government. Its legitimacy was discussed at the committee.

The Committee on Public Accounts also drew its attention towards the complaints received by the Sri Lanka Land Development Corporation, the Central Environmental Authority, the Urban Development Authority and the Department of Agrarian Development pertaining to the unauthorized filling of lands in the Muthurajawela Eco-Sensitive Zone and its failure to take formal action on a number of such complaints pertaining to the said concern.

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