Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera said that a program to protect the cleanliness of 103 rivers island-wide will be launched in January under the patronage of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
Addressing the Ministerial Consultative Committee on Environment held in Parliament on Thursday (December 3), the Minister said that a large number of rivers in the country are polluted and as a result a large amount of trash is being discharged into the sea as well as the surrounding environment of rivers.
Therefore, the program will be implemented with the support of people giving responsibility to the relevant authorities to maintain cleanliness of rivers.
Accordingly, the Minister emphasised that the program will continue as one of the main projects under the theme Surakimu Ganga.
Secretary to the Ministry of Environment Dr. Anil Jasingha, who participated in the meeting, said that the process of supplying sand, stone and other raw materials for the construction of buildings has turned out be an informal process.
Therefore, the President has set up a ‘Presidential Task Force’ to formulate a methodology to provide building materials such as stones and sand as well as industrial raw materials such as clay at affordable prices without intermediaries, the Secretary said.
Dr. Jasinghe said that the report of the task force of which he is a member will be released in the near future and after its implementation, there will be a revolutionary change in the field of construction raw materials.
The Minister said that the Government will provide a permanent solution to this problem in the near future which people in the area will benefit.