The new road network is to be built from “Wattala” to “Kealaniya” in order to build easy access between the two towns. The road covers a total distance of four kilometres and will be occupying a land extent of about 7 acres (approx).
But it was found that the planned route runs through several marshlands (old paddy fields) which consist of many natural ecosystems. Various types of Birds, fish other types of fauna and flora were found to be threatened due to the construction of this new road network.
The potential direct ecological impacts identified were water pollution generated due to the construction of the road, noise pollution and air pollution resulting from the frequent movement of vehicles, and destruction of plant and animal life. These were identified as the possible direct impacts caused due to this new road.
As the construction of the road begins, it is necessary to clear small areas of forests and to fill certain areas of marshlands. When doing this the ecosystems present in the surrounding is been destroyed. Birds, Fish, Insects and other animals housing in these areas will be threatened and various types of plants and trees too will be destroyed; hence resulting large destruction to natural ecosystems [figures 01 & 02]. Another problem that was found to be possible was floods caused due to the filling of the marshlands and wet lands of the surrounding areas. Due to the covering of water paths the water may be stagnated and the drainage systems will be unable to function properly. Although drainage systems will be constructed in the road system, during a high rain fall this too will be a big issue causing floods in the surrounding areas.
natural ecosystems – Figure 1
natural ecosystems – Figure 2
During the process of the road construction another possibility is causing soil infertility and water pollution. Due to the use of poisonous chemicals and substances for the road constriction, the soil and the water around the area is been exposed to chemicals causing the PH levels of water to drop. This will further be a reason for the death of fish, plant and other living organisms in water.
The noise and air pollution will also be another greater environmental effect. Due to the frequent movement of vehicles and the frequent traffic the surrounding area will be dreadful. Due to this the local neighbourhoods, animals and birds in the surrounding will also be greatly disturbed and threatened. The poisons fumes will cause various types of respiratory problems and will cause permanent and temporary ill health.
Farming and cultivation – figure 3
Farming and cultivation – figure 4
As the ecosystems are been threatened so are the local communities. It was found that more than 64 families around this area depend on fishing and small scale farming and cultivation [figures 3 & 4]. When the fish population is been reduced the locals will be unable to earn a living also due to the pollution of soil and water the farming and cultivation too will also be threatened. This too is an issue that can rise as a social factor. This problem will cause a job issue and will be a greater problem in the future.
The next possible problem is the reduction of tourism due to Urbanization of these areas. Due to the presence of greenery, natural ecosystems, bird and fish centuries, this area is a large tourist attraction. But when this new road system is been constructed this too will be lost; hence causing the loss of more jobs of several local communities.