Unplanned buildings, including lodgings, hotels, restaurants, shops, bungalows and malls, have defaced the once-picturesque town and the number of buildings exceeds the town's capacity
laments the sad state of his home town.
“Streams have gone dry. The unplanned development has affected the rich biodiversity and created a drinking water problem in the town. There is unauthorised construction. Visitors are unaware of the rich biodiversity the town once possessed,’’ he complained.
“When we were young there were many spots for inland fishing along the banks of the Nanu Oya stream. Now the streams are polluted.’’
Meegoda Gamage Nimal, a businessman and a resident, said the city was fast changing.
“Today there is no beauty in this town as I remember it. Now, all you see are towering city malls. The cool climate, pure water and the natural beauty of the landscape is being destroyed,’’ he said.
“Where have the cypress trees gone? They are not seen even in areas surrounding Gregory's Lake. The flowers by the lake are no more. Even the biodiversity is vanishing with no caterpillars, frogs, and crickets who made the nights come alive.
“The outdated drainage system has begun to pollute the drinking water. The unplanned digging of tube wells have created an imbalance in ground water levels. these problems have collectively created an imbalance in biodiversity. It is the town planners who are at fault,’’ he said.
Upali Abeyasinghe, a former deputy district secretary of Nuwara Eliya, said the city has changed. He said many people in Nuwara Eliya preferred agriculture over state sector employment. But, now, there is less land for agriculture because of the many buildings that have been built.
Mr. Abeyasinghe stressed that in any planning, the preservation of the biodiversity should be a priority. He praised the garbage management and disposal scheme launched recently.
H M Wijepala