Batticaloa squatters asked to leave Water Board’s lands

[TamilNet, Friday, 14 May 2004, 22:00 GMT]
About two hundred families who have been staying in lands belonging to the Water Supply and Sewage Board in Kallady in the Batticaloa district for the last two years will be asked to leave, according to a decision made at a meeting of the Batticaloa district secretariat.

The pipe-borne water supplied to the Batticaloa town is obtained from the Water Board’s wells. The squatters on the board’s lands close to the wells are constructing toilets close to the wells and thereby contaminating the drinking water. Moreover, the families also construct their own wells, resulting in diminished water levels at the Board’s wells, officials said at the meeting held at the district secretariat.

The Board has allocated funds for improving the water supply to the Batticaloa town, and made an allocation of 30,00,000 rupees for the construction of two additional wells, planned in lands where squatters are staying.

Mr. T. E. Prakash, the Water Supply Engineer for the Batticaloa town, said at the meeting that, if the squatters were not expelled immediately, the town would face a crisis from contaminated water and diminished capacity.

If the families refuse to leave from the lands belonging to the Board, legal action will be taken to expel them, the officials said at the meeting.

The Government Agent for Batticaloa, Mr. S. Puniyamoorthy, chaired the meeting. The Municipal Commissioner Mr. S. Navaneethan, Deputy Divisional Secretary Mr. S. Muraleetharan, and Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr. S. Smarathivaha, and Mr. Prakash the Water Supply Engineer participated at the meeting.

 

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