The Colombo Municipal Council this week granted permission to cut down a Banyan tree believed to be over 300 years old on Kirimandala Mawatha, Narahenpita. The tree had been located on the road infront of the Aisiri Surgical hospital. The move by the CMC has drawn widespread criticism and residents in the area had even put up notices on the tree asking for it to be saved. However the CMC this week went ahead with the decision to cut down the tree in order to widen the road.
Colombo Mayor Rosy Senanayake speaking to the Newswire had clarified that the tree was cut down as part of the megapolis development project carried out by the Urban Development Authority in Colombo. The project is being implemented to widen the road up to Nawala Road consisting of 4-lanes at a cost of Rs. 300 million, with a view to ease congestion on Kirimandala Mawatha.
A decision was taken to approve the felling of the tree as it was in the middle of the road and did not comply with the street lining requirement to construct 04-lanes. Senanayake had said that the decision to grant approval as part of the Central Government’s project was inevitable.
The CMC Mayoress stated that permission has been sought from the Department of Agriculture to plant 15 saplings in exchange for the tree that was cut down on Kirimandala Mawatha, adding that the planting will be undertaken by the CMC.