Preserving Rivers: District and Div Secys, GNs to be responsible
By Thameenah Razeek
Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera has decided to assign the responsibility of preserving the 103 rivers in the country to District Secretaries, Divisional Secretaries and Grama Niladharis under the 'Surakimu Ganga' programme launched by the Ministry of Environment to protect the river systems.
Amaraweera said that pollution and damage to all river basins have been occurring for some time, and racketeers are felling and destroying valuable plant species such as Kumbuk along the river basins. However, due to the authorities lacking adequate power and responsibility, the environmental damage caused by all river basins has become a serious issue. “Also, the river system has been severely polluted due to the discharge of pollutants into rivers flowing near some major cities and the non-receipt of environmental reports,” he added.
Taking this into consideration, the Ministry of Environment has decided to entrust the above officials with the responsibility of taking care of the entire 103 river system in our country in the respective areas.
The District Secretary, Divisional Secretary and Grama Niladhari are responsible for any environmental damage reported in a river. The Minister also said that the necessary powers will be given to those officials to enforce the law against those who cause environmental damage.