Soil fertility, drainage affected by SLA bunds

[TamilNet, Saturday, 01 February 2003, 14:08 GMT]
Extensive construction of earth bunds by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) at both sides of A9 highway between Puliyankulam and Mankulam during the 'Jeyasikuru' battles has adversely affected the fertility of soil and drainage pattern in surrounding areas, agricultural sources in Vanni said.

To prevent infiltration of Liberation Tigers (LTTE) cadres and to confront fierce battles fought by the LTTE to beat back SLA advances north on A9, the SLA had been constructing large earth bunds in close proximity.

This practice has depleted agricultural quality top soil in the region and underlying layers of gravel have become exposed. Farmers are struggling to work with the low quality gravel to produce their crops, sources said.

Further, as bunds were constructed on low lying grounds for purely military purposes, gravity drainage patterns have been affected resulting in reduction of water reaching irrigation tanks. Flooding possibilities also have increased, irrigation engineers in Vanni said.

Farmers of the Puliyankulam, Mankulam region have requested the authorities to take immediate action to remove the bunds and level the ground to promote proper drainage and distribute the rich soil back to the agricultural lands, sources said.


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