Proposed airport at Kundasale
Posted on June 30th, 2012

Linda van Schagen Courtesy The Island

June 20, 2012, 6:29 pm

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Plan for the airport

I am writing to vehemently oppose the construction of an airport in the agriculturally rich environment of Kundasale which I understand requires over 100 acres, for the following reasons:

Kundasale is a very verdant and lush area, and I believe it is also a base for agri-research.

The Kandy District has always been a quiet environment friendly location – What is the purpose for this proposed airport? Has an ecological survey been done as to the potential damage to the environment?

There are only about 15% of the population rho are wealthy enough to utilize such an airport, however 100% of the population, including 85% of the poor and underprivileged will be taxed with no positive gain to any of them – Importantly, what is the actual cost of this project? Who is funding it and how do you propose to recover the cost?

The island has already been denuded of trees, savannahs, marshlands, nature reserves, large tracts of mangroves, and all this destruction has resulted in drastic changes to rain patterns due to droughts and the absence of monsoonal rains, affecting man and animals.

Financially, we are upto our ears in debt to the tune of Rs. 5.5 trillion (both foreign and domestic borrowings) and that does not take into account annual interest repayments.

Heavy imposition of taxes on essential food items have rendered our people malnourished and most do have a meal every other day. Surcharge on electricity has made a hole in our monthly income which could have been utilized to provide nutritious meals to the children of this island.

Whilst the masses have been forced to tighten their belts and FORCED to lead austere lives, government officials, particularly the ruling regime are leading lives of pure luxury, jetsetting in style in public owned airlines with large retinues of their hangers-on.

The extravagant plan to build an airport in Kundasale should be halted, as should all other extravaganzas and the powers-that-be must bear in mind that austerity should be practised by them; if not there will be serious frustration felt by the poor and social unrest will follow.

8 Responses to “Proposed airport at Kundasale”

  1. Sunil Vijayapala Says:

    What we need in the country is wise leadership during this vital, ‘valuable’ period in time. Right leadership was there to end terrorism – the scourge. Tourism is for countries which has no agricultural and industrial base and which depend on services and have nothing to offer in terms of an ancient culture etc. etc. We are now going through a pathetic period where competent people are replaced by incompetent ones, the henchmen of politicians and have no chance of climbing the ladder. The worst scenerio is that we do not see any potential leadership in the country to handle proper planned development, in government or in the opposition. Its just a stalemate. No one is standing up to the President.

  2. Dham Says:

    Sunil,
    You must meet your ex-mate.
    Why didn’t you see him last time you visited ?
    I might know how to arrange a meeting. Are you willing ?

  3. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    Kundasale Agricultural Complex was the brain child of Hon. D.S. Senanayake. He ensured a meaningful infra-structure to develop Agriculture and Dairy farming. He sent EIGHT young females abroad to New Zealand, to study Agriculture and Dairy Farming. My aunt was one of them, Late Kusuma Wijayatilleke, amongst others. They started the Jam Factory, and many new projects. It was the ignorant politicians who did not have horse sense to develop the place.

    The Kundasale Agricultural Farm Land should not be touched for the purpose of building an Air Port. Period.

    Minister Aluthgamage wanted to take certain Tank areas in the SOUTH, that supply water to thousands of Farmers, to build a Sports Stadium. Sri Lanka has tremendous potential for developing Agriculture, and if Agricultural Land is gambled by politicians for FANCY projects, it cannot be accepted as positive vision. The impact is Negative.

    Even beyond Kundasale, the Pallakelle Area is Agricultural Land, though it is now being converted to a Township, with Sports Stadiums, etc. Hunasgiriya should be considered, though it is hill and dale. Next is Madugoda. One can strike a reasonable medium, between Hunnasgiriya and Madugoda. I believe Politicians do not want to go further.

    The Ministers and Politicians feel safer to take a quick flight, for security purposes, rather than travelling by road taking long hours.

    All things considered, an Air Port in the Central Hills is an asset, but should not be compromised with ruining Agricultural Land and its Infrastructure. MAY WISE COUNSEL PREVAIL.

  4. nandimitra Says:

    latest news from infolanka – Sri Lankan nationals , corporations deposited 85 million Dollars in Swiss banks out of which Swiss banks lent Sri Lanka 44million dollars. This is devolepment. Lets not fool ourselves. All these analysis and advise is useless . This is the final aim.

  5. Lorenzo Says:

    Destroy SINHALA people’s food production and allow OUTSIDERS including south Indian Tamil illegal immigrants to fly in!

    Anyway they are the LARGEST number of tourists!!

    FANTASTIC!

    Soon Kundasale will become Kundi-Chelvam. And as the Great Anagarika Dharmapala said the poor Sinhalese will look on at the planes full of rich illegal immigrants like mongoose that consumed wild plantains, unable to eat or s***.

    And the govt will send all the benefits (if any) to the north.

    Air Lanka and Meen Air will continue to make loses and Air Tamil will earn profit at the expense of paddy fields.

  6. Ratanapala Says:

    When the tough times come the tourists will not sight Sri Lanka as what happened during the last 30 years. A far thinking leader will first consolidate the Victory of the Villagers which ended at Nanthikadal first and then only move forward to other areas of secondary importance. Right now we depend on India for much of our food supply. If we ever want to be independent and self sufficient, first thing to do should be to secure our food supplies and be independent of foreign dependence. By making the country debt stricken and dependent on the foreigners for food and funding we are opening the door to the destruction of the hard won peace and in the end the unity and territorial integrity of our land.

  7. Sunil Vijayapala Says:

    Dham – Thanks for your offer. I am not keen in meeting this man anymore, (I have enough connections to do it myself) as I have lost confidence in him. The last time I wrote to him(before I left) was to bring down all his bill boards depicting his megalo maniac personality. No decent leader will see himself on each and every street corner. He is as worse as Premadasa on this issue. However some things I wrote to him he ackowledged and directed the specific Secretaries. Unfortunately our beaucracy is lethargic, rigid, regimental still following the British crap and most progressive measures are being hampered by these fools, who should be kicked out (there is no legislature to do it) Once I requested Lalith to kick out an Ad. Secretary (emigration) and that was the reply, but he (Lalith) took immediate action to redress my issue. Sometimes you cannot blame the government, the Secs do have a hold on these and fail to implement or slow down the process dramatically. I know the guys in the Think Tank too. They get upset when I address the President as Mahinda. By the way we need airports as Sri Lanka is a HUGE country to cut down on travel time! ha ha. Idiots!!! As I said before no one will stand up to this President. Everyone says YES SIR, Ministers must be shaking in front of him.
    There could be something brewing up these days, I smell this. I may be wrong but I see some dissention within the ranks. Even Chamal did comment on the political violence recently. Its good that people in high ranks resign – the lady at CSE resigned just after 2 or 3 days, surprised at the corruption there. The heart of capitalism the stock market at its highest level of corruption! In some respects the goverment is doing good things but so long we do not stamp out corruption there will be no progress in Sri Lanka and this man will not stamp out corruption as most people will stand to lose. Sinharaja road was stopped but they cut a road in Knuckles range recenly! This is arrognace at its best. We expats are branded as traitors who left the country and according to them we should never get involved in our motherland issues, although some of us are daul citizens. We only know the great service of organisations such as SLUNA (Canada) ans SPUR (Australia). If you write to any official in Sri Lanka in any issue they will never respond to you, including Uni people. This is the pathetic situation in our country. All muddled up, all lost and most are clueless. And we here just go on appreciating and depreciating the government -I tell you this elite forum’s contribution has no effect at all and any challenge at any level be it Excutive, Legislative or Judiciary will carry no clout.

  8. AnuD Says:

    The west is good model in developing a country. They do environmental assessment and other things – assessment before starting any project.

    Sri Lanka is not watching anyone. IT is simply the Mahinda Chinatanaya they say.

    Sri Lankan had built roads through the Sinhala raja forest which is the ONLY primary forest in sri Lanka and it was only 45000 ha and it had many plants that were endemic to Sri Lanka.

    Sri Laaka allowed building a cottage and allowed clearing a large piece of land in another forest in Matale area (Namunukula ?), Sri Lanka had allowed filling paddy fields to build houses (certain urban areas had built by filling paddy fields) and the corresponding Reservoir became redundant, Sri lanka had cleared coconut lands to build houses (and imported coconut from India), and after all this is another one.

    I heard at the beginning elephanta were living upcountry as there was abundant supply of Kithul Trees. Colonial master chased them out to the dry zone and now clearing of forest in the dry zone has left elephants coming populated areas and getting killed.

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