Wrong Central highway construction caused Gampaha floods: Prasanna Ranatunga
Posted on June 8th, 2021

Chaturanga Samarawickrama Courtesy The Daily Mirror

The reason for the flood situation in the Gampaha district was caused by reckless actions taken by the previous government during the construction of the segment from Kadawata to Gampaha of the Central expressway,  Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said.

He told the Daily Mirror that the proposed segment from Kadawata to Gampaha of the Central expressway was to be constructed as an elevated highway.

However, the previous administration did not follow the proposed plans, and they used it to fill the ground with earth for the construction of the highway, he said.

“The Central expressway was a combination of selected segments of previously proposed two Expressways. The segment from Kadawata to Gampaha remains the same alignment on the previously proposed Colombo – Kandy Alternate Highway (CKAH) trace (2001 – 2011) and beyond Gampaha, the trace is the Northern Expressway trace (2011 – 2014) up to Dambulla and Kandy (Galagedara). After that, the previous government had decided to change the starting point of the NEP and also to implement it with the assistance of Donor Agencies. Then it was decided to change the project name to Central Expressway in 2015,” he said.

Minister Ranatunga said a meeting was held today to review the construction work of the Central Highway from Kadawata to Gampaha. 

During the meeting, it was discussed to review the appropriation of the number of estimated culverts used during the construction.

When running the expressway parallel to and in line with the existing railway line, the culverts should be placed according to the recommended sizes and to the approved numbers of culverts.

He pointed out that the outlets of those culverts were not equal to the size of the inlets. According to the Minister, the expressway was discovered to be parallel to the existing railway line, and the outlet sizes of the culverts under the railway track were smaller than the inlet size of the culverts under the expressway.

Therefore, the culverts can not hold the water capacity running through them during high rain fall. As a result, the current flood situation in Attanagalla, Magalegoda in Veyangoda, Meerigama, Ganegoda, and Gampaha town had been created.

Instructions were given in this regard to the Highways Ministry Secretary, Irrigation department and the Expressway Operation Maintenance And Management Division of the Road Development Authority to seek solutions and procedures for the recent floods in Gampaha. 

No flood situation would occur in Gampaha if the previous government built the expressway as an elevated highway, the Minister said. ()

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