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Flood risks will be mitigated considerably by 2020 – Patali

Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka announced that three underground tunnels would be constructed to control floods in Colombo, of which one had already been successfully constructed.

Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka stated that even if cities were all inclusive of large buildings and attractive parks, such cities would still be uninhabitable if they were cluttered with garbage, congested with traffic and ridden with pollution.

One of the primary aims of the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation is to solve these prevailing problems, the Minister said.

The Minister also addressed the recent tragedy of floods and landslides, and declared that it was vital that such floods be avoided in future.

A cabinet paper had reportedly received cabinet approval in August 2016 for the implementation of a methodical programme to control flooding of the Kelani River, Attanagalu Oya and Gampaha District, but that the Ministry of Finance had not imbursed the programme with the required funds. The same programme had ultimately been funded in 2017, of which the Dik Oya project was a primary focus.

Water pumping facilities are also due to be constructed in Ambatale and Nagalaganweediya, as part of said project.

The Minister thanked the residents of the relevant regions for supporting the endeavour despite various agendas of certain political groups, and stated that they expected to significantly solve the issue regarding floods and landslides by 2020.

Patali Champika Ranawaka proceeded to urge the Government to develop projects associated with the Kelani River instead of undertaking expressway constructions, given the economic potential of the River, as the expressways only added to the debt burden and did not solve the traffic congestion issues

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