Shanty dwellers of Dehiwala-Moratuwa areas urge Govt. to provide housing

Published : 9:10 am  October 11, 2018 | No comments so far |  |  (137) reads | 

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By H.M.Dharmapala and Kusal  

Shanty dwellers in the narrow strip of land in between the beach in Dehiwala, Ratmalana and Moratuwa areas said they were in a predicament due to the torrential rain experienced in the area and the rough seas. They pointed out that the waves were lashing at their door steps while storm water was seeping through the roofs of their shanties.   


People living in thousands of shanties along the railway track said that the shanties built of perishable material could not stand the lashing waves and the heavy downpours. Several of shanty dwellers pointed out that the inside of the shanties had turned into muddy pools.   


A shanty dweller in Ratmalana Sriyananda Almeda (50) said that several shanties had been destroyed during the rough seas rendering the dwellers homeless last year.   


“This year we are experiencing unprecedented heavy rainfall and rough seas. Our main occupation is fishery and we have lost our livelihood. However our main concern is the hardship we are facing for want of housing. We have been compelled to live in shanties for want of land in other areas. We are prepared to leave the shanties if the government provided us land and housing aid. It is a misconception that the shanty dwellers would return to the shanties even if they were provided housing. They said they were not willing to live in shanties exposing their children to the dangers from the train and the sea” he said.  


Another shanty dweller Arjuna Salgado (45) said the roofs of shanties had been blown off by strong winds and that they were in a predicament due to the heavy rain experienced at present.  


“ It is sad that we have been destined to live in shanties exposed to the danger of gale force winds and rough seas. However the prominent politicians who boast about massive development projects have ignored the shanty dwellers by the railway line. We do not have the minimum facilities of a human habitat. In the past the local authorities had provided electricity, but now the Electricity Board refuses to supply power to any shanty.” he said.  


Shanty dwellers requested the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development to give priority to the housing problem of the shanty dwellers living in between the railway track and the beach. 

 

People living in thousands of shanties along the railway track said that  the shanties built of perishable material could not stand the lashing  waves and the heavy down pours