COLOMBO (News 1st); The Human-Elephant conflict has been longstanding and relentless and many in rural Sri Lanka have been suffering from it for generations.
At times, short-sighted decisions of authorities have compounded the woes of the rural populace.
The village of Nuwaragama in Anuradhapura might soon be left to bear the brunt of such a piecemeal decision in the near future.
The Department of Forest Conservation has handed over 0.8 hectares of land in Pandulagama to the Department of Motor Traffic in order to construct a driving school on the plot of land. Incidentally, the area is considered an Elephant corridor.
The land is currently being cleared for this purpose near the 68th post along the Puttalam-Anuradhapura main road for this very purpose.
“This is an Elephant corridor. However, it has been blocked due to construction. Multiple constructions are taking place in close proximity to the reserve. This reserve spans 250 to 300 acres. This village is our home. Authorities have planned many projects in the area but have failed to allocate 20 perches of land for us to construct a community hall,” said a local resident.
However, the Anuradhapura Driving Schools Association said the Driving Schools are a national requirement to produce disciplined drivers.
Residents of the village urge officials to move the driving school to a much suitable area instead of blocking a vital Elephant corridor while being mindful of the country’s forests.
The people are urging officials to conduct driving lessons in a suitable place rather than on elephant corridors and to pay attention to the country’s forests.