Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, minister of environment - Mahinda Amaraweera said that the area will be developed as a destination for tourists who love to visit places of environmental value.
He has added that development of the wetlands will take place under a joint venture involving several entities, including the Urban Development Authority, Central Environmental Authority, Environment Ministry, Geological Survey and Mines Bureau, and the Department of Wildlife Conservation.
Should be conserved as a National sanctuary
Chair of the Surakimu Sri Lanka Organization, the Venerable Pahiyangala Ananda Sagara Thero charges that a private company is attempting to establish a project in the area, destroying it.
The Thera said that such attempts should be defeated by further securing this wetland area as a national sanctuary under the Department of Wildlife Conservation.
Meanwhile, Environmental lawyer and activist - Dr. Jagath Gunawardena says that a sanctuary should remain under the Department of Wildlife Conservation and bringing it under the UDA is unacceptable. Noting that a sanctuary is a natural ecosystem, he adds that saying it would be developed, raises serious suspicions.
What is the speciality of UDA?
Meanwhile, environmentalist Dinusha Nanayakkara questions on what basis is it said that only the Urban Development Authority (UDA) is capable of securing this wetland if both the UDA and Department of Forest Conservation are state institutions.
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