Saliya Kumara Gunasekera
Environmentalists warn that the Puttalam lagoon could be severely damaged due to a decision taken by a powerful politico of the area to clear 75 acres of land on the eastern side of the lagoon.
It is alleged that the area concerned is currently being cleared using bulldozers to build a saltern. Environmentalists charge that a powerful politician has cleared an area measuring a distance of 1.5 kilometres by using two bulldozers, without any concern for the bio-diversity of the famed lagoon.
Environmentalist, Sajeewa Chamikara alleged that this politician from Puttalam had started the clearing process without obtaining the necessary approval from the Department of Wildlife and Conservation. He further warned that if the clearing of this large area is not stopped forthwith, the negative impact to the lagoon would be deeply felt, sooner than later.
He said that despite clear instructions given by the Puttalam Divisional Secretary to stop this illegal activity, the politician concerned had continued clearing the area.
“Due to the decision taken by the politician to clear a large area of the lagoon, it is bound to hamper the production of crustaceans such as crabs and lobsters, and before long they will become extinct in the Puttalam lagoon,” Chamikara warned.
He also said that despite the Wayamba Environmental Authority (WEA) having the power to halt this illegal activity, it has not taken any steps to do so.