Rs. 1,992 mn needed to pay compensation to people affected by H’tota road project – Kiriella


By Ajith Alahakoon and Akitha Perera

Leader of the House and Higher Education and Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella yesterday told Parliament that Rs. 1,992 million was needed to pay compensation to those who had lost their lands due to the construction of the Mirijjawila-Sooriyawewa road.

Making a ministerial statement in response to a question raised by JVP MP Nihal Galappaththi on Nov. 28 Minister Kiriella said that 1,958 plots of land had been taken over from Hambantota and Sooriyawewa Divisional Secretariats. Compensation would be paid for 1,534 land, he said.The minister said: "The notice to acquire lands according to Section 2 of the Land Acquisition Act have been given on 28.01.2009, 01.04.2009, 25.08.2009 and 15.11.2010. Also, Gazette notifications have been published on 10.11.2010, 31.01.2011 and 21.08.2013 on speedy acquisition of land under section 38 (a).

The widening of the road up to the first five kilometres was completed in 2011. The next phase was started in 2013 and should have been finished by 2015. However due to the delay on the part of the contractor, the work continued until 2016. The acquisition of land started in 2009 and compensation should have been paid by 2014. However, the former government failed to even carry out the valuations, let alone pay compensation."

"The former government used Sri Lanka army and forcibly took over those lands. Although four lanes are enough for this road, they had taken over land for constructing six lanes. They have not estimated the value of those land and had not paid a single cent to the owners. Now, we have to bear it but we will pay them all. Our government has paid approximately Rs. 400 million for them to date."

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