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DateLine Wednesday, 20 June 2007

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Government Gazette

Over to you railway authorities

A split second delay, four people would have been crushed to death, due to the negligence of the level crossing gate keeper.

On the night of Saturday May 26, at about 11.20 p.m., my husband and I along with a retired Professor and his wife had to cross the level crossing at Suduhumpola, Kandy, to get to our homes.

As the barrier was not lowered, my husband proceeded to cross the railway line. When we were right in the middle of the track, I noticed the bright headlight of a train on the Kandy Station side. I called out to my husband that there was a train. For our luck and with divine protection, he calmly crossed the track.

We had gone just a couple of yards beyond the track, when the train thundered past us. If we were late by a split second we would not have been here today to tell the tale. Thankfully there were no vehicles coming towards us, therefore our way was not blocked.

There are only three motorable crossings linking William Gopallawa Mawatha and Peradeniya Road, and this is a road much used specially by doctors of the Kandy Hospital.

The most important point about this is that the barrier was not lowered and the gatekeeper was nowhere to be seen. We complained to the Station Master and Police emergency immediately, and have been asked to complain in writing to the Way and Works Department of the Railway.

Having crossed this place often for over 35 years, we have been engines shunting with headlights on, close to the station, hence never imagined a train would travel when the road barrier was not lowered. The gatekeeper is there to save lives and prevent accidents and not commit murders.

This letter serves as a warning to all who cross level crossing, to look to either side before crossing, even if the road is open to motorists, as there may be many careless and indifferent railway gatekeepers such as this one. The railway authorities may consider it necessary to have a clear view of the rail track to motorists approaching the crossing.

A motorist


Over to you Mayor Moratuwa MC

What a pity in a city not a light to see. In spite of the entry made in complaint book at the electrical section of the Moratuwa Municipal Council in January 2007 and the visits made four times to same office to remind about a defective street light on post no: ALM/96 9B/F of Watson Peiris Mawatha, (opposite house no: 34/36).

In addition to this, Mr. Osanda Municipal Member intervened several times to get this done properly but up to now it is not done and once in a blue moon when there is a windy day light burns accidentally. Mr. Mayor please send someone to attend to this small defect as the problem has been dragging on since January 2007.

Recently a house was burgled close to this lamp post. Pretty to see a street with lights in the night than without lights.



Over to you Transport Minister and Environment Minister

I have been away from Sri Lanka for the last 40 years, although I come home to Sri Lanka very frequently. I have seen no improvement whatsoever. Following are the issues I would like to raise:

To the Minister of Transport:

(1) Roads are no better than when I was a child. There is so many potholes, that even when you travel in a car your life is not safe. Why can’t the roads be repaired and create pavements, so people do not have to walk on the roads?

(2) Roads are such that it cannot cope with the endless traffic.

(3) Big lorries and heavy containers should not be passing in residential roads. It is a health hazard. Proper highway system should be built to cope with heavy containers and lorries.

Why do people pay large sums on assessment rates?

To Environment Minister:

(1) Why does the Council not inform the householders when the garbage will be collected. Nobody knows when they turn up. We have to waste our valuable time looking out for them. You cannot leave your bin by the gate as your bin may even disappear.

(2) A big drain has been created by the Municipal Council along Sri Saranankara Road and each time we come to Sri Lanka we have to go and complain to the Municipal Council to clean the drain as it is unhygienic and is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Why do we have to live in such dirty environment. Council could maintain a system whereby the drains get cleaned at least once a week.

Noise pollution:

Along the canal down Sri Saranankara Road, there were no shanties when our home was built. Now there are 3 storey houses, some built overnight. Who gives them the authority? Do they even apply for planning permission, or pay an assessment rate?

They use the road for commercial purposes repairing three-wheelers and cars. Why can’t the Government provide them with decent homes, so they can carry out their business elsewhere not taking up private roads for parking cars.

I hope through this column, ‘People’s Voices: Whom It May Concern’ some good will be done to the country.



Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service

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