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Labugama and Kalatuwawa Reservoirs Declared National Heritage Sites

June 07, Colombo (LNW): Transport, Highways, and Mass Media Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardhana announced that the Labugama and Kalatuwawa reservoirs have been designated as part of Sri Lanka’s national heritage and resources. Highlighting their vital role in providing drinking water to the Colombo area, he emphasized the importance of natural resource management and the region’s potential for tourism.

Minister Gunawardhana made these remarks at the inauguration of the Kaluaggala–Labugama road development project, which aims to enhance connectivity to the reservoirs and surrounding areas. This project addresses long-standing requests from local residents for road improvements and is expected to boost tourism by leveraging the natural beauty and hospitality of the Seethawakapura area.

The Minister highlighted the success of the Ella area as a model for tourism development, attributing its popularity to small tourism businesses and the scenic Colombo–Badulla railway line. He noted that the introduction of special tourist trains, such as the Ella Odyssey, Dunhinda Odyssey, and Calypso, has met with great demand and international media attention. Similarly, efforts are underway to convert the Kelani Valley railway line into an electric railway, with ongoing efforts to secure foreign investment.

Minister Gunawardhana also discussed the allocation of funds for road development, noting that Rs. 200 billion has been designated for such activities this year. Specific attention has been given to the Avissawella and Homagama constituencies, which have lagged in infrastructure development. The World Bank project will see 80 kilometers of roads developed in these areas, with work set to commence in the next two months following preliminary preparations.

He acknowledged the financial burden of these projects, which will be repaid by future generations, and stressed the necessity of adhering to conditions set by international financial organizations to continue receiving foreign aid. A proposed Economic Transformation Bill aims to address Sri Lanka’s debt repayment strategy, ensuring sustainable economic management.

The event was attended by Venerable Pugoda Dhammaloka Nayaka Thera, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Avissawella organizer lawyer Ravindra Jayasinghe, former Seethawaka Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Jayantha Rohana, former Provincial Council member Mahesh Almeida, officials from the Road Development Authority, and local residents.

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