By Amila Jayasinghe
The Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resource Management is to issue a six-month ultimatum to the owners of abandoned buildings in the Mahaweli region.
Minster of Irrigation and Water Resources Management, Nimal Siripala de Silva said yesterday if the abandoned buildings continue to be vacant, the government will acquire them and hand them over to the farmers for their use.
Speaking to Ceylon Today, the Media Secretary to the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources Management said, the minster had announced he will be issuing six months notice to all organizations that have bought buildings in the Mahaweli region.
The minister had said this while attending meetings in six villages in the Dehiattakandiya area in the Mahaweli C Zone, where farmers had gathered to discuss their problems.
The minister also said it has been identified that there are around 19 buildings, which were used for storing fertilizer and paddy, but they have been closed down.
“If these buildings are not going to be used by the co-operatives, they will be handed back to the farmers for them to use as store houses for their fertilizer and paddy,” the minister said.
Minister de Silva had said he will look into the issue of vacant lands in that region and by 31 October divide the lands equally among the people who have lived on the lands for generations. He had asked the people to come forward and make a request regarding the lands.
“In the case of some lands, there are no deeds as there were no surveyors to look into these things. And those people who have been living on unauthorized settlements for several years will be allowed to stay there and be given an affidavit by the owners of those lands,” the minister said.