June 06, Colombo: Minister of Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation Pavithradevi Wanniarachchi informed the Department of Wildlife Conservation to arrange for the speedy completion of the new entrance gate and other constructions proposed to be started in the Balangoda Handagiriya area for entering the Udawalawa National Park.
The Minister has instructed the officials of her Ministry recently during a discussion regarding the future plans of the proposed construction in Handagiriya Park when the Minister joined the Balangoda Weligepola-Kalthota observation tour.
The Minister while attending the construction of the 5 km elephant fence to control the elephant encroachment which is a problem for the people in Handagiriya and Pollamure areas informed the officials to expedite the construction as necessary provisions have been received.
Also, projects such as the preparation of the 30-kilometer road system in the Handagiriya Park, the renovation of 04 internal tanks, the construction of the 52-meter bridge across the Walawe River connecting the areas of Handagiriya and Udawalawe, and the creation of 02 tourist bungalows and 05 new campsites were discussed.
The Minister pointed out that by establishing the relationship between the old entrance of the Udawalawe Park and the Sandagiriya entrance, local and foreign tourists will have the opportunity to see two climatic and environmental systems in the same park. It will increase tourist attraction.
In addition, due to the proposed projects, the people of the area will have an opportunity to develop economically. Young people in Balangoda will get new job opportunities.
In addition, discussions were held at Tanjanthanna temple and Bowatta temple regarding the construction of elephant fences in Balangoda, Imbulpe and Weligepola area and the Minister emphasized to the officials that 19 million rupees have been allocated for the construction of elephant fences in those areas and it should be done as soon as possible.
Members of Parliament Muditha De Soyza and Akila Ellawala, officials of government institutions and others were present for this event.