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Land acquired for Mirijjawila-Sooriyawewa road put under P’ment microscope

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Friday, 8 December 2017 00:08

By Ashwin Hemmathagama – Our Lobby Correspondent

Land acquired in 2009 to make room for a six-lane road between Mirijjawila and Sooriyawewa was brought up for discussion in Parliament yesterday. 

The Government revealed the progress of its efforts to properly value the acquired lands at Rs. 1.992 billion for compensation purposes, highlighting that the unlawful acquisitions took place during the tenure of the Rajapaksa administration.

Minister of Higher Education and Highways and Leader of the House of Parliament Lakshman Kiriella, updating the House on the progress of the compensation process, said: “These lands were taken by force by the previous Government using military power and without a proper valuation done for compensation. Till 2015 they failed to compensate the landowners. We have done the necessary valuations.”

According to the Minister, some compensation was settled, making use of the annual allocations made to the Ministry for the use of land acquisitions. 

“We have settled Rs. 370.2 million for 281 plots of land under these valuations. Vouchers worth Rs. 101.1 million were presented to the Road Development Ministry to compensate 128 land plots. We will make payments as soon as the necessary funds are received,” he added. 

Rs. 640 m spent on rural road development

The Government spent Rs. 630 million during the last three years developing rural roads in plantations in the Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, and Badulla districts where the public transport system was functioning.

Even though rural roads do not fall within the purview of the Ministry of Higher Education and Highways, the provincial councils of the respective areas have taken care of the development of these rural roads. According to the Ministry of Highways, the identified roads were developed as part of an integrated road development project. 

In 2016 and 2017 a total of Rs. 558.16 million had been used for the Kandy District. In 2015 and 2017 a total of Rs. 66.53 million had been spent on plantation roads in the Nuwara Eliya District, while Rs. 518 million was spent in the Badulla District this year. (AH)



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