Sri Lanka remove unauthorized constructions amid flooding

The Secretary of the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing, W.S. Sathyananda, announced that immediate measures will be taken to remove all unauthorized constructions contributing to flooding in Colombo and its suburbs. 

This announcement was made during a news conference held at the Department of Government Information.

Sathyananda stated that within two weeks, a circular will be issued to all government institutions to facilitate the removal of these structures. 

He emphasized the importance of conserving existing wetlands in Colombo and surrounding areas as a crucial element of flood control efforts. Blockages in small waterways and drainage systems have been identified as major causes of flooding in these regions.

Hiran Balasuriya, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Land Development Corporation, revealed that multiple projects are already underway to address flooding in Colombo and its suburbs. 

These initiatives are being carried out in collaboration with the Urban Development Authority (UDA), the Irrigation Department, Provincial Irrigation Departments, and local government institutions.

The comprehensive flood mitigation plan will be executed in three phases: short-term, medium-term, and long-term. The seven key projects under this plan include:

1. Improvement of water supply systems outside Colombo and the Urban Landscaping Project.

2. Palangastuduwa Pumping Station Project.

3. Flood Control Facility Implementation and Maintenance Project, including rainwater pumping station flood gates.

4. Implementation and maintenance of facilities for integrated flood management systems and real-time control data centers.

5. Drainage improvement project under the Piliyandala Master Development Plan.

6. Drainage and environmental improvement program for the Battaramulla catchment area, which includes the upper catchment area of the Parliament.