Govt. to acquire disaster prone areas



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By Maheesha Mudugamuwa


The government would take immediate steps to commence a special programme to pay compensation and take over the constant flood and landslide prone areas to ensure the safety of the people, Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Aamaraweera said yesterday (07).


Addressing the media at the Disaster Management Ministry Auditorium he said that the Ministry had allocated over 211 million rupees for the welfare of the victims of recent disasters. The ministry had allocated Rs. 134.7 million in 2012 and Rs. 55.7 million so far this year.


He said that more than 95 percent of government officers worked diligently in disaster areas.


Amaraweera said that the high risk areas in the Matale District would be declared as reserve land. "We have imposed strict rules and regulations for construction in these areas. Construction will not be allowed in these selected areas. The approval of the NBRO will have to be obtained for constructions in close proximity to these areas. The buildings should be able to withstand landslides."


The National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) Director General Asiri Karunawardhana said that 127 areas in the Matale District had been identified as landslide prone areas.


Investigations had commenced in four Divisional Secretariat areas, in Ukuwela, Rattota and Naula, in the Matale District. Through these investigations it was ascertained that 127 areas in 29 Grama Niladhari Divisions had a high risk for landslides, he said.


He requested the public to refrain from entering those areas as investigations were on.


Meanwhile Meteorology Department, Director General, S.H Kariyawasam said that there would be occasional showers in the Eastern, Central, Uva and Southern provinces today. Those showers might spread to the Western, North-central and Sabaragamuwa provinces.


He warned that there might by strong winds over the country at times.


Showers or thundershowers accompanied by fairly strong winds at times would continue in the sea areas off the coasts extending from Matara to Trincomalee via Hambantota and those sea areas would be rough at times, he said.


Naval and fishing communities were requested to be vigilant in their activities in the sea area off the coast from Matara to Trincomalee via Hambantota.


So far more than 91,907 families have been affected by the inclement weather and 588 people are still at the 22 evacuation centers. Forty three people died and 16 people were injured, while seven people still remain missing.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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