Central Expressway construction:
The government has decided to pay Rs.6,000 million in compensation to residents whose lands and houses were acquired for the construction of the first and second stages of the Central Expressway.
Accordingly, 1,225 residents who were deprived of lands and houses due to the construction of the first phase and another 3,800 residents under the second stage would be granted compensation within the next few days.
Higher Education and Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella presented compensation cheques to 25 residents whose lands and houses were acquired for the construction of the first and second stages of the Central Expressway,at a ceremony held at the Ministry premises yesterday.
The Minister addressing said that many people have lost their ancestral homelands completely while several others lost about half of their lands due to the ongoing construction of the Central Expressway.
“Our people have always been patriotic and we appreciate their sacrifice for the development of the country,” he said.
“Even when the Mahaweli development project started, many people lost their houses and lands. Many ancient temples were also submerged by the giant project. But, these people bore all these hardships by putting the country first. If the Mahaweli project had not initiated at that time, we would not have had sustainable electricity by now,” Minister Kiriella said.
He said nearly 20 plots of land located from Kadawatha to Galagedara have already been surveyed and compensation paid.
“We expect a significant boost to the national economy with the completion of the Central Expressway, which is to run through the Gampaha, Kurunegala, Kegalle, Matale and Kandy districts.
With the completion of the Expressway, it will enable the traveller from Colombo to reach the hill country within one and half hours.