Expedite Kataragama development work before pilgrim season
President tells officials:
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has directed officials to complete
development work of the Kataragama Sacred City before the coming pilgrim
season ensuring all modern facilities to visiting pilgrims.
The President issued this directive when he chaired a progress review
meeting of Kataragama Sacred City Development Scheme at Temple Trees on
A Presidential media release said during the discussions the
President emphasised that development activities at Kataragama should be
undertaken in a manner that would preserve the natural beauty of the
area with an accent on developing the local tourist industry too.
He said the banks of the Menik Ganga should be preserved as a green
park. The President also said all unauthorised structures within the
Sacred City should be demolished and a shopping complex built in
conformity with the sanctity and pride of the city for the displaced
shop keepers and stall holders.
The President also said arrangements should also be made to provide
parking facilities for vehicles in a manner that would avoid traffic
congestion during the pilgrim season.
The President stressed that strong action should be taken to prevent
pollution of the Menik Ganga. Legal action should be taken against
certain hotels which discharged effluents to the river, he said.
The President said a Kataragama Conservation Board would be set up
shortly with a trust fund to supervise conservation and development work
in the Sella kataragama area in keeping with its historic significance.
A Cabinet Memorandum would be submitted in this regard for approval
soon. He also asked Urban development and Sacred Area Development
Minister Dinesh Gunawardena who was present to utilise the abandoned
Kataragama Gam Udawa site for erecting buildings for government offices
and ministerial holiday resorts.
He also requested Minister Gunawardena to draw up a proper
development plan for Moneragala town and directed officials to complete
all development work before August this year.
Ministers Jagath Pushpakumara and Sumedha G. Jayasena, Kataragama
Maha Develaya Basnayaka Nilame Shashindra Rajapaksa and Secretary and
their officials of the Urban and Sacred Area Development Ministry
attended the meeting.