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Saturday, 3 December 2011

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Government Gazette

President gets tough with coastline polluters

Issues

* Wastage from unauthorized constructions, hotels

* Unauthorized buildings along coastline

President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday directed Sri Lanka Coast Conservation Department officials to take legal action against persons polluting the coastline and constructing unauthorized buildings along the coastline.

The President made this observation during a discussion on coastal zone management and development at Temple Trees yesterday.

Coast Conservation Department officials pointed out to President Rajapaksa that the coastline is at a risk of being polluted, due to the exposure to wastage from unauthorized constructions and hotels close to the coastal belt.

They pointed out that 24 percent of Sri Lanka’s population and 25 percent of total lands belong to coastal areas.

They said that important economic activities, including 90 percent of those in the fisheries industry and 90 percent of those in the tourism industry depend on the coastline.

The discussion also focused on proper management of coastline resources and environmental systems.

Sea erosion and lack of access routes to the sea belt and poor facilities for tourists for entertainment were also discussed.

Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapkasa took over the responsibility to create access roads to the coastlines under the purview of the Economic Development Ministry.

President Rajapaksa also discussed fisheries harbours in the country and instructed officials to develop the Peduruthuduwa Fisheries harbour.

He also directed officials to offer facilities and proper places to the business community connected to the tourism industry along the coastline. The officials pointed out to the President the programmes that have been earmarked to construct coastal gardens and to arrange the coastline as a green belt.

Minister Dayashritha Tissera and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa also participated.

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