By K. Varunan –
The beach at Wellawtte/ Dehiwala is shrinking daily due to various reasons. The beach had enough space for the adults and children to enjoy their walk and play has been inundated with restaurants and cost guards occupation. In the past, a good number of people visited the beach, often, in the evenings to enjoy the fresh air. Now they have no suitable area on the beach to relax without the Face Mask, after having worn them all day long.
The Beach opposite Ramakrishna Rod which was a Children’s Solar Park sponsored by Jeevan Kumaratunga has vanished little by little, replacing it with a restaurant. The restaurant initially was small and Unnoticed has grown bigger and bigger. It has now become a full-fledged restaurant, out of reach for the public.
Further up to the Dehiwala Bridge buildings for the coast guards have been erected, coupled with various restaurants, thus preventing the public from enjoying the Sea Breeze or the children from enjoying the Sun and the Sand.
The new situation arose after the war. Most of the restaurants are owned and operated by army big shots, it is understood. Maybe a gift, by the government in recognition of their exhibited “PSEUDO BRAVERY”?
Before I left Sri Lanka, approximately 15 years ago, only the Kinross Swimming and Life Saving club existed, (Of course, there was the Beach Wadiya) where the public enjoyed a swim and sea bath safely due to the presence of life-saving guards from the Kinross Club. Today The Sea opposite Kinross Club has become deep and dangerous due to the construction of Port City at Galle Face, thus the people avoid going there for a sea bath. The boundary wall which prevented the seawater from rushing into the club occasionally is no more. It has been washed away by the waves. Sea sand has filled up the children’s swimming pool.
Unless precautionary methods are adopted, the Kinross club building itself will be pulled down to the sea. A club that has been in existence for the past over75 years should not be allowed to be ruined.
Perhaps the government could request the Chinese to build a wall (Not necessarily a Great Wall) and save the club building from disaster, which has been standing as a Landmark /Seamark for so many years, escaping even the Tsunami.
With time the total beach area from Kollupitiya to Mt. Lavinia may be inundated with restaurants and other buildings thus depriving the public of entering the beach to spend a few hours of relaxation.
It was said by the successive governments that they will arrange to destroy all unauthorized buildings. Instead, it appears that all the UNAUTHORIZED Buildings have now been Authorized? Thus No one can complain.
‘She Sells Sea Shells in the Sea Shore’. To whom?