It will cos tat least Rs 8,000 million to change the plan of the Central Expressway in a way that protects the rare Crudia Zeylanica tree that lies on its path, said State Minister of Rural Roads and other Infrastructure, Nimal Lanza.
He also pointed out the people should decide on the course of action to be taken because the plan will be changed using the money paid by the taxpayer.
Lanza expressed these views while participating in the inauguration of road development projects in the Anuradhapura District. However, he also recalled the environmental groups’ statements that the tree could be uprooted and replanted. “But we cannot do that. There is a major social opposition that this tree should not be relocated,” he added.
While pointing out the Government has not taken a final decision in this regard, Lanza said they have to make a wise judgment considering how much it would cost the public.
Meanwhile, Secretary to the Ministry of Highways R.W.R. Pemasiri noted the Central Environmental Authority’s negligence in conducting environmental impact assessment was disappointing.
(Source: Ceylon Today – By Thameenah Razeek)