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Research Articles

Effectiveness of Existing Laws and Regulations to Prevent Encroachments of Stream Reservations

Authors:

SSK Chandrasekara,

Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture University of Peradeniya, LK
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ERN Gunawardena

Department of Agricultural Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, LK
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Abstract

Sri Lanka, with more than 2500 years of hydraulic civilization, has constructed highly complex systems of irrigation in the Dry Zone. Kings formulated the rules in consultation with high officials in the Kings’ court. The King was the source of the laws. This ancient administrative system gradually changed after colonization and attention focused more on written rules and regulations of the government legislations than those based on customs, norms, and traditions of Sri Lanka. There are more than 50 legislations enacted in relation to the development and management of water resources along with the establishment of a large number of institutions. Despite all these, water resources are being degraded at an alarming rate. A preliminary study showed that there were adequate legal mechanisms and institutions to prevent water resources degradation. This study was carried out to determine the effectiveness of regulations and associated institutional arrangements to prevent stream encroachments. Two villages between Peradeniya and Gampola along the Mahaweli river were selected for the study. Questionnaire surveys, focus group discussions among institutional officers and interviews were conducted in these villages. The results showed that the existing regulatory mechanisms to protect stream reservation covered all aspects including eviction of encroachers. However, there are serious deficiencies in implementation of such regulations such as the lack of coordination among institutions, procedural lapses, political interference, and less enthusiasm of state employees to implement rules and regulations. The encroachers tend to occupy the reservations due to landlessness, poverty, and the social cohesion among their own communities.

Keywords: Encroachment; Legislations and Stream reservations

DOI: 10.4038/tar.v22i2.2822

Tropical Agricultural Research Vol. 22 (2): 134 - 143 (2011)
How to Cite: Chandrasekara, S. & Gunawardena, E., (2011). Effectiveness of Existing Laws and Regulations to Prevent Encroachments of Stream Reservations. Tropical Agricultural Research. 22(2), pp.134–143. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/tar.v22i2.2822
Published on 21 Feb 2011.
Peer Reviewed

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