The Irrigation Department has suspended work on a walkway planned to be built on the Polonnaruwa Parakrama Samudra tank bund due to a protest by the residents of the area and the Maha Sangha.
There were allegations from various quarters that the walkway would cause damage to the ancient reservoir and the breakwater.
This 08 feet wide walking path will extend 1.7 km from the Divisional Secretary Official Residence to the D. S. Senanayake memorial at the Number 01 Sluice Gate of the Parakrama Samudraya.
The members of the Maha Sangha in the Polonnaruwa District, farmers and residents in the area staged a protest on the tank bund.
They demanded the Irrigation Department to immediately stop removing the rocks along the breakwater using a backhoe to flatten the bund surface to make an even walking path.
Representatives of the NGOs present told the Maha Sangha that the construction was being carried out despite protests from farmers and farmers’ organizations.
The Maha Sangha sat on the bund of the tank and engaged in a Satyagraha. They demanded the irrigation officials to immediately remove the machinery and crew currently deployed to destroy the massive reservoir which is like the heart of the people of Polonnaruwa.
Polonnaruwa District Secretary, W. A. Dharmasiri and other officials arrived at the protest and explained the situation to the group assuring that the walking path project will not threaten or ruin the banks of the ancient reservoir.
Afterwards an awareness meeting was held at the Polonnaruwa District Secretariat Auditorium. It was held under the patronage of Polonnaruwa District Development Committee Chairman, Amarakeerthi Athukorala.
Officials of the Department of Archeology and the Urban Development Authority, as well as representatives of farmers’ organizations in the area were present at the discussion.
The Maha Sangha dispersed after the officials promised to suspend the ongoing development work on the bund and to inform the decisions to be taken after a future discussion.