Minister urges public to stop filling, constructing in lowlands
May 22, 2016 06:16 pm
Minister of Disaster Management Anura Priyadarshana Yapa says that one of the reasons the heavy rainfall caused so much damage was due to the fact that the lowlands in the Kelani valley have been filled and houses, buildings built there.
“We see this as a main problem.” He stated that lowlands exist to hold water and when that cannot be done it overflows.
“We need a proper land management policy if not we will have a serious problem in the future,” he told reporters in Colombo on Sunday (22).
The minister urged the public to refrain from carrying out any unauthorized construction and unauthorized filling of lowlands. He also called on the relevant institutions not to allow it.
We also need a system for buildings, he said, adding that a decision has been taken to introduce a bill for building standards.
He further said that an amendment will be made to the National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) Act which will require NBRO approval for building plans of any construction of buildings anywhere in the country.
Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Eng. Karunasena Hettiarachchi, who also spoke at the press conference, stated that false rumours being spread through social media and other media area causing a panic among the masses.
He stated that certain people are creating dangers that do not exist and that this is another problem the government has had to face.
“Because this social media and various other media institutions are making these statements and putting people in panic. We want that kind of thing, even if there is anything, refer to the respective authority and get confirmation from them before they publish their news.”
Military Spokesman Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera said that so far troops have recovered a total of 21 bodies and 14 body parts from the site of the landslide in Aranayake.
Around 200 army personnel are still carrying out search operations for those who are unaccounted for and are also engaged in relief operations for the survivors of the disaster, he said.
He stated that search operations at the two landslide sites in Bulathkohupitiya and Ranmalaka, Kadugannawa have been concluded as the remains of the number of people reported missing - 16 and 6 respectively- have been recovered.