Right to reply -Megapolis Vs New City by Eng Anton Nanayakkara ,,,,,,
Posted on May 23rd, 2016

Ex Chairman SLLRDC

First of all I would like to highlight the fact that the heading of the article in the Island Paper today 23/5 16 has no relevance to the content of the opinion .

It is like reading  part of a Life Story and a memoire of the person who claimed to have done much for the betterment of the Irrigation .

Studies were done by him in the context of a much lower population in Colombo are with no value  in today’s context as these studies are outdated .

The claim that his tenure in the Reclamation Board was terminated prematurely for reasons he does not want to recall ,is quite amazing to read and that doors of the SLLRDC for entry of adventurer or opportunist I wonder who the writer means by this statement

First of all we all should blame Irrigation department and the Land ministry under Gamini Dissanayake for dredging the Kotte and Madiwela paddy fields and reclaiming the lands for new parliament ,which is the start of flooding and the misery undergone by the people ,

He also says the 1981 headline warned that parliament will get flooded and everybody laughed , and he says that 4th and 5th June 1992 parliament got flooded

I assume that parliament got flooded because the wise people in Irrigation and Low lying development board have miscalculated the safe level of floods at 7 feet where it should have been 9-10 feet

Actually building the parliament by filling paddy lands was the gravest mistake we ever made ,

In 1993, only committee room got flooded but after few years more area in the parliament got flooded , because politicians and scrupulous businessmen  filled 400 hundred acres  of retention area of 1000 acres reserved and acquired by SLLRDC  by 1995

This learned writer claims that floods in 1992 was caused by the  illegal gate constructed by SLLRDC .As the chairman of SLLRDC at that I would like to clear this misinformation .

When President Premadasa called a meeting to find a way to eradicate pollution due to toilet waste and other polluted water along St Sebastian Canal  ,SLLRDC and SLPA has jointly decided to pump water into the St Sebastian Canal  from Kelani River during drought period

There was no reason for whole of  Colombo to get  flooded due to this gate being closed  and now under world bank funding SLLRDC intends to install a bigger pump .

I am unable to comment on this as I have some reservations.

Again the flooding in 2010 has occurred due to illegal filling by people in lake drive area and in Narahenpita and Kotte Marshes reducing the retention area by 400 acres

When I protested against building a bridge across the Heen Ela to have access to the plot where a block of flats are built I was threatened by the owner .I complained to the police and then president requested me to withdraw the plaint as the culprit was a supporter

His claim about a purported gabion structure causing floods in Parliament area is absolutely baseless.

I noted that various gates and bunds installed upstream of Kotte basin does marvellous job despite a flood situation near Kimbulawala few days back

Filling of over 400 acre is the main cause of floods in Colombo today  and the writer forgets to mention the facts in his article

Kelani river flooding   is due to two reasons

Irrigation Department did not take any steps to control, and prevent the encroachments along the Kelani left bank which is within the river reservation and allowed politicians to fill hundreds of acres  from Nagalagam street to Hanwalla I can even name some politicians !

Many container yards ,factories were built reducing  the Kelani  Valley  basin

SLLRDC had no jurisdiction to prevent construction and filling along the valley

So the blame should go to Irrigation Department ??

Second reason for the flooding of Kelani River bank is caused by the sand bank built up at the river outfall.

I am confident that new breakwater built for south harbour is the cause of formation of high sand bank which prevents water out flow

Finally I would like highlight the fact that irrigation experts who have only drawn up nice charts ,maps and wrote reports to fill time ,have never contributed in any way to control the floods by PREVENTING ILLEGAL FILLING OF THE MARSHY LANDS

SLLRDC may have had chairmen of various calibre and qualifications, but it was the task of politicians to guide them in the right track

During our time we were well guided and we had a tremendous task to carry out project implementation under able minsters and secretaries like Mt Aillaperuma

Irrigation engineers in Colombo were writing reports and drawing charts, but none of them contributed to eradicate the unauthorised filling of lands

( I was told by someone that a Director of Irrigation was recently asked by a journalist What are you doing these days as Colombo is under heavy flooding ,reply was amazing I am making some Wesak Lanterns with my children !!!!!!!!!!!! )

During our time we were standing near all canal outlets of Colombo clearing sand banks !

I suggest that the writer discontinues writing his article where at the end it says to be continued

Ex Chairman SLLRDC

5 Responses to “Right to reply -Megapolis Vs New City by Eng Anton Nanayakkara ,,,,,,”

  1. aloy Says:

    Ex-Chairman, SLLRDC

    While the flooding problem in River Kelani may be due to the non clearance of sand bank at the mouth of the river, the inundation of parliament area cannot be due to filling of marshy land alone. When there is a prolonged storm with heavy precipitation (such as the ones we experience all over the world lately) all the detention areas get filled up quickly and the hydraulic gradient that is available for the flow only prevents flooding. The longer the distance to the outfall, the smaller the gradient and hence the problem of inundation. In the case of parliament area I have read somewhere that the discharge point is in far away Moratuwa area. This would leave a very small gradient and therefore the rate of discharge is very low.
    To my mind the solution is to find a way to discharge water from parliament area at a point closest to thew sea. Perhaps Colombo or Wellawatta should solve the problem, not stopping land filing altogether.

    Also I am appalled by the inaction of met dept. in announcing the incoming cyclonic conditions during the recent events. On Friday the BBC announced with satellite picture that a cyclone is developing on the eastern SL and that it would come down on Sunday. We warned our son-in-law who was to travel to Singapore on the following day. To our surprise there was no mention of any such weather conditions issued by met department in any of the SL media. Are the officials in SL met dept doing their work or surfing the internet all the time?.

  2. aloy Says:

    I know a large amount of funds under Metro Colombo Development project from world bank was taken for this project and a Danish Consultant was handling it. Were they under the thumb of former rulers to spend the money somewhere else?. What was the result of modeling with packages like ‘Mike 22’ (developed by DHI) which the former Colombo Municipal commissioner so proudly announce over the ITN (or SLRC) once?.

  3. Dham Says:

    In this 2016 I don’t understand why Irrigation Dept. (which is supposed to look after RESERVOIRS, CANALS for irrigating farmland) is entrusted with flood protection. It should be under water authority, Water Supply and Drainage Board. Old tradition of having hydraulics lab and hydrology design work under them could be the reason.
    Any way so many PAL HORUs were ruining all these government institutions for years.

  4. Ananda-USA Says:

    I agree with aloy that drainage channels to the sea should be constructed, perhaps with mechanically controlled floodgates.

    Some of these channels can utilise existing canals like the Wellawatta canal, suitably dredged to deepen them and cleaned of vegetation that inhibits the outflow.

    Drainage of all of these areas should be studied from an integrated view of wetlands protection, mosquito eradication, water contamination and flood control.

    However, with the Yamapalanaya Govt having dug itself into a financial pit, the required money may not be available until this batch of HELPLESS ROGUES & ASSORTED FOOLS is OUSTED from power!

    As our nincompoop PM admitted, He is HELPLESS to do any thing about disaster refief.

    Let us help move this congenitally HELPLESS man out of the PM’s office into a wheelchair and onto a plane headed to a retirement home in the USA.

  5. Christie Says:

    Colombo is owned by Indian colonial parasites. They are afraid they will be doomed.

    That is why Indian Empire got rid of Mahinda.

    A new city dominated by Sinhala people is the last thing the Indian Empire wants.

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