Tank expansion threatens estate homes

[TamilNet, Monday, 29 November 2004, 00:19 GMT]
"Administrators of Serandip Estate in Badulla are planning to expand currently existing pool into a large water tank to hold agricultural water for rural farmers. If action is not taken to stop the project immediately we will mobilize the plantation workers and begin mass agitation," said Member of Uva Provincial Council from Upcountry Peoples Front (UPA), A Aravindakumar, in a letter to Minister Anurakumara Dissanayake, sources from Badulla said.

Mr. Aravinthakumar further states in his letter, "There are twelve estate labour families live in close proximity, and lands belonging to 18 peasents will be affected by the expansion project. The Estate Management must hold proper consultation with the Estate Trade Unions to explore the impact on estate workers and on environment before undertaking projects of this magnitude.

"We strongly protest construction of the large tank. The project will result in eviction of several estate labourer families and make them homeless," the letter said.

"We are aware that certain groups are creating a new political culture that benefits the rural folks at the expense of the welfare of the estate workers. The estate labourers totally depend on plantation sector for their livelihood. They also face various social problems and suffer severe economic hardship. They cannot be asked to endure the nightmare of being homeless," the letter added.


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