Hakkinda archipelago: Legal action against illegal constructions

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BY Thameenah Razeek

The Ministry of Environment has formed a committee to pursue legal action against illegal constructions in the Hakkinda archipelago near the Mahaweli Ganga. 

Environmental organisations in the area, civil activists and MP Wasantha Yapa Bandara, filed a complaint with the Environment Ministry about the illegal constructions in the Hakkinda archipelago. Subsequently, Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera who had previously visited the site inspected  unauthorised constructions.

Minister Amaraweera decided to entrust the Kandy District Secretary tasked with removing all illegal structures in the Hakkinda archipelago.

The Minister also directed officials to investigate the possibility of converting the site into a Centre for Environmental Studies following the acquisition of these unauthorised structures after payment.

“We do not have a grudge against any individual or organisation. The Mahaweli Ganga ecosystem near the Hakkinda Islands is a sensitive ecological zone. As a result of these illegal constructions it is in a danger. This ecosystem should be preserved for future generations to study the environment. When illegal constructions are erected in a sensitive ecological zone, officials should intervene and stop it as soon as possible, but they have not done so,” he said.

He said when making investments, entrepreneurs should consider environmental protection as well as the safety of their investments. 

He warned that if a landslide occurred above this location during heavy rains, all of these structures would submerge.