Nearly 10,000 illgal constructions in Colombo District:

Vows legal action against owner :

Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka yesterday said that the Wellawatte building that collapsed on Thursday morning, was an unauthorised construction.

He vowed stern legal action against the perpetrators. He said that the primary survey conducted by the State Engineering Corporation revealed that the building collapsed due to structural failure.

Addressing the media yesterday at the Ministry,he pointed out that building on strips of lands immediately adjacent to canals was illegal.

Minister Ranawaka said that the owner had got approval for a housing plan in 2009 but had not obtained the compliance certificate for the building.

Later, he had turned it into a reception hall and extended the building area encroaching the canal bank.

“The portion that collapsed was built adjacent to the originally approved building and that was being constructed in the canal reservation area,”Minister Ranawaka said.

Minister Ranawaka said that he informed the Inspector General of Police to take legal action against the owner under the Penal Code.

The Minister said the number of unauthorised buildings are on the rise and added that they face many issues when taking legal action against the owners.

“On February 1, the Ministry began a survey in thw Wellawatte and Banlmbalapitiya areas. It was revealed that there are around 1,800 unauthorised settlements and buildings between Bambalapitiya and Wellawatte,” the Minister said.

He noted that legal action will be taken against the offenders.

Minister Ranawaka further said that they have not completed the survey and expect to complete it with the support of Department of Census and Statistics.

“The rough estimation shows that there are around 10,000 illegal substandard constructions in the Colombo, Dehiwala, Mount Lavinia and Kolannawa areas. There is a huge problem with regard to the quality assurance in constructions,” Minister Ranawaka said.

He said buildings constructed on either side of the canals would be subjected to inspection by the Megapolis and Western Development Ministry.(Daily News)

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