Ranawaka told to ensure all displaced shanty dwellers are given apartments

Thotalanga mayhem:


by Dasun Edirisinghe

The UNP has instructed Minister of Megapolis and Western Province Development Patali Champika Ranawaka to ensure that all the people who had lost houses at the Kadeema Watte were given alternative accommodation.

Deputy General Secretary of the UNP and Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said his party had not purposely hurt any shanty dweller in the area who protested demanding alternative houses as the land where they had put up temporary shelters had been acquired by the Megapolis development project.

"Our party’s policy is to provide shelter for all, but we learn that some shanty dwellers faced unfair treatment when new houses were allocated in the Randiya Uyana, Modera Uyana and Sirisara Uyana housing schemes," Kariyawasam said adding that the government had relocated them to a new housing complex on Jan. 12.

He said the government had provided each family which had lived in a shanty of less than 700 sq. m with a 550 sq. m apartment. Each family which had been in a shanty of more than 700 sq. m had been given two 550 sq. m apartments.

Kariyawasam said Minister Ranawaka had also agreed to provide new houses if someone did not benefit from the government’s housing project immediately.

Minister Kariyawasama alleged that some bankrupt political movements tried to whip up the issue to discredit the government.

"We condemn these protests aimed at cheap political mileage. The UNP as well as the national unity government was committed to providing houses for helpless people."

People in the Thotalanga area protested blocking the Colombo-Negombo road on Tuesday and Wednesday against being removed from Kadeema Watte without being given alternative accommodation. The joint Opposition led by loyalists of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa also raised the issue demanding that the evicted shanty dwellers be given apartments.


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