Jun 29, 2018

Air Force destroys Pidurutalagala summit

Environmental organizations have protested against the Air Force over the construction of a two storied building on the Pidurutalagala mountain summit.

Although the Defence Ministry Senior Assistant Secretary (Parliamentary Affairs) had sent an application to the Forest Conservation Department seeking approval for the construction of this two stories building at the Pidurutalagala mountain summit, approval had not been granted to them.

With the end of the war, a high powered radar tower was constructed by the Air Force on the Pidurutalagala mountain top and the number of troops deployed for its security had gradually been increased. So far over 50% of the mountain top has been occupied by the Air Force and currently there are around 200 permanent duty rankers and soldiers deployed at the location.

The temporary constructions erected have been transformed gradually into permanent structures without obtaining proper approvals, while the already constructed two storied luxury officer apartments too have been erected without the approval of the Forest Conservation Department.

According to a senior environmentalist, the establishment of an entire Air Force camp for the security of just one radar tower is a matter that should be investigated by the Security officials and the environmental officials and at present due to these constructions on the Pidurutalagala mountain top around 75% of the environment and plant life have already been destroyed.

It is also reported that due to the high population density the previously existent water sources have now been polluted and people on the mountain have to obtain water from the Nuwara Eliya town.

 Therefore, the environmentalists urge the government to take measures to declare the Pidurutalagala mountain as protected national heritage site, removing the unauthorized constructions and protect the mountain which is the main water source to the Mahaweli river, Kothmala-oya and the Ramboda falls.

New constructions