July 02,Matale: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today instructed the Wildlife Department officials to restructure the wildlife zones in the Matale district of Central Province within a month and be practical when demarcating the Zones.
Participating in the progress review meeting of the Matale district held at the Matale Municipal Council Monday, the President pointed out that it is essential to focus attention on traditional settlements and geographical differences.
A Wildlife Zone has been gazetted covering 14 Grama Niladari Divisions in the Sigiriya and Laggala Zones.
The President has focused at length on the issues faced by the farmer community, especially the cardamom growers, in the Knuckles range and noted that it was the onus of the government to safeguard the farmers after the area was declared as a World Heritage site and to pay special attention for their livelihoods.
He has instructed the relevant officials to take immediate steps to solve the drinking water problem in the Matale district under the Matale Yatawatta and Visal Matale water supply schemes.
President Rajapaksa has also discussed the need to establish a fully-fledged national hospital in the Matale district and instructed officials to search for an appropriate plot of land to begin constructions.
He has instructed the health officials to improve the Dambulla Hospital providing more facilities.
During the meeting the local government heads were informed to take measures to re-acquire state lands that have been leased out to the private sector for public use.