New roadway to Udawalawe National Park

Work on new road from Balangoda to Udawalawe National Park was inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Sabarragamuwa Maheepala Herath.

The road from Balangoda, Weligepola to Hadagiriya will be extended by another 40 km through the National Park. The first phase of the 13 km road from Thalapathoya boundary will cost the Sabaragamuwa PC Rs. 20 million and will be completed within this year. He also said that the Weligepola-Hadagiriya existing road will be developed.

The Udawalawe National park envetoping Sabaragamuwa and Uva provinces is of 31,821 hectares in extent of which 12,000 hectares from the Walawe ganga belongs to Sabaragamuwa Province.

The Chief Minister said that the only way to enter the park today is from the 7th milepost on the Udawalawe-Thanamalwila road. This belongs to Moneragala district in the Uva province. Today the 7th milepost area is brimming with tourism industries.

There are over 200 saffari jeeps deployed for sightseeing purposes for tourists and over 1000 families depend on tourism for a living. But the road leading from the 7th milepost ends at the bank of the Walawe and there is no bridge to cross the river to enter the Sabaragamuwa area of the park. The new road once completed will be economically beneficial to Sabaragamuwa, he said.

Range Forest Officer Nimal Kaluarachi said there are about 700 elephants and variety of animals and bird life.

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