Sri Lanka: New homes were provided to illegal residents who live near the pipeline being constructed to carry fuel from Colombo Port to Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminal, Kolonnawa.
The Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminal is taking measures to lay a 12-inch new pipeline.
Homes were granted to 20 residents as the first step of the programme, under the patronage of Petroleum Resources Development Minister Arjuna Ranatunga and Parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayaka.
The minister said even though there is a court order to remove them, they have looked into this matter humanely, considering the welfare of the families. He assured that they will provide new homes to other residents too.
“All of you lived on top of the pipeline. You lived on fire. If there was a fire in the pipeline, it would have created a disaster in Colombo.
“Court issued an order to remove the people. If this was the previous regime, they would have kicked out all of you in one night.
“But our government does not follow that kind of procedure.
“We have taken steps to grant new homes to you for your well-being,” the minister added.
“This pipeline is about 70 years old. We cannot predict when it would leak and blast.
“We could not lay a new pipeline for 20 years.
“Now we can lay the pipeline without causing any injustice to residents,” the minister added.
Parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayake said they will grant homes to the other 419 residents before the end of this year.