Laws to be introduced to strictly enforce buffer zones

New laws will likely be introduced to strictly enforce buffer zones in disaster prone areas, Disaster Management Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said today.

Yapa said that buffer zones were introduced following the deadly 2004 tsunami yet now clearance is given to construct buildings violating the buffer zones.

The Minister said that new laws will be introduced to ensure buildings are not constructed in the buffer zones in future and people living in those areas will be evacuated in their best interest.

He said that some of the houses destroyed in the recent floods and landslides had been constructed in disaster prone areas.

The Minister said a National Action Plan is needed to ensure lives are saved in a natural disaster in future.

He also said that disaster evacuation centres will be established around the country for people to seek shelter in the event of a natural disaster.

The Minister said that while temples and schools are often used as temporary shelters, the Government will establish evacuation centres in future. (Colombo Gazette)