Green Battles

A local environmental body has agreed to drop charges against the state for illegal encroachment into the Muthurajawela Sanctuary, but is lobbying for a dedicated Wetland Conservation Act. A local environmental body has agreed to drop charges against the state for illegal encroachment into the Muthurajawela Sanctuary, but is lobbying for a dedicated Wetland Conservation Act.

The Environmental Foundation Ltd (EFL) said it was withdrawing its case against the government after it drew up a National Wetlands policy that included Muthurajawela.

“The Environmental Foundation considered the Government’s document to have drawbacks, but nevertheless accepted it in view of the urgent need for a Wetland Policy,” EFL said in a statement.

The Foundation had filed a writ application in the Court of Appeal in July last year, opposing plans to build a township in part of the sanctuary.

The township included a housing scheme for 20,000 families, and over 300 acres of the wetland already cleared, with some 5000 families already begun to set up makeshift dwellings.

The environmental group says the Muthurajawela area is not suitable for human habitation and the current settlers suffer