Mirijjawila-Sooriyawewa road extension: Rs 1.9 billion required to pay compensation - Kiriella

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By 2017-12-08

By Methmalie Dissanayake

The Government yesterday (7) said, that an estimated Rs 1.9 billion is needed to pay compensation to those whose lands were allegedly taken over to extend the Mirijjawila-Sooriyawewa Road to six lanes.

Replying to a question posed by Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) MP Nihal Galappaththi on 28 November, the Leader of the House and Minister of Highways, Lakshman Kiriella said that 1,958 plots of lands had been taken over from the Hambantota and Sooriyawewa Divisional Secretariats. Compensation should be paid to owners of 1,534 plots of land, he noted.

"The notice to acquire the lands according to Section 2 of the Land Acquisition Act has been given on 28 January 2009, 1 April 2009, 25 August 2009, and 15 November 2010. Also, the Gazette Notifications in this regard have been published on 10 November 2010, 31 January 2011, and 21 August 2013 on the speedy acquisition of land under Section 38 (a) of the Act.

The widening of the road up to the first 5 kilometres was done in 2011. The next phase was started in 2013 and should have been finished by 2015. However, due to the delay by the contractor, the work continued till 2016. The acquisition of lands started in 2009 and compensation should have been paid by 2014. However, the former government failed to even carry out the estimations, let alone pay compensation.

The former government used the Army and forcefully took over these lands. Although four lanes are enough for this road, they had taken over lands for constructing six lanes. They had not estimated the value of those lands and had not paid a single cent to the owners as well. Now, we have to bear that, but we will pay it all. Our government has paid approximately Rs 400 million for them as of this moment," he stated.

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