Railway Department to survey lands, remove illegal dwellings | Sunday Observer

Railway Department to survey lands, remove illegal dwellings

The Railway Department will hold an island-wide land and social survey to reform railway lines and remove squatters occupying lands owned by the Department, a highly placed official of the Transport Ministry told the Sunday Observer.

“Most of the land owned by the Railway Department has been leased out. No proper records of the lease agreements are available at the moment and most of them have not been updated for a long time.

Lessees have subleased properties officially and unofficially. These issues have to be rectified immediately,” he said. According to information, most lessees don’t pay the rent to the Department. Other groups include those who have occupied lands without proper documentation. All this is due to lack of monitoring by the Railway Department.

A Cabinet paper has been approved for the purpose and to mark the railway boundary.

“Under the guidance of the transport Minister we hope to push this forward. We conducted similar surveys in areas that fall under the railway electrification project. That was done under a different tender and it was successful. We have concluded the survey from Colombo to Homagama.

The next stage will be carried out from Maradana to Rambukkana and Homagama to Avissawella which is the social survey,” the Ministry official said. We have visited around 1,800 houses along the Kelani Vally line for the survey. And we will relocate people to better locations. We have received a positive response for the survey.