Zoological Gardens DG refutes allegations | Daily News

Zoological Gardens DG refutes allegations

National Zoological Gardens Department Director General Dammika Malsinghe has responded to the news item published in the Daily News on February 12, under the heading ‘Pinnawala attraction lacks basic facilities,’ by our Hiriyala Correspondent M. A. R. Manukulasooriya.

Following is the reply:

The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage attracts the third highest number of tourists in the country. Its infrastructure and the personnel are well-designed to cater to mass crowds of both local and foreign tourists that visit the Orphanage. The writer narrates three main points of failure with the management as to providing basic facilities; namely the lack of parking space, lack of sanitary facilities and lack of a viewing platform for visitors.

Out of these, the lack of parking facilities is an acknowledged factor by the Department. Although parking is provided in a small car park and the local Pradeshiya Sabha maintained car park, it is not sufficient to cater the requirement. Thus, plans are underway to build a mass-scale parking space near the Orphanage at Modarawatta, which will be completed at the end of this year. This is in the vicinity where the construction site was inaugurated during the month of February 2019.

The alleged lack of sanitary facilities is completely false. The Orphanage has four toilet complexes within its premises with a specialized facility for wet and dry toilets for foreigners. They are located at the ticketing counter at the entrance, three complexes at Park no 03. These toilets are maintained well according to international standards.

Furthermore, two new toilet complexes are under construction alongside the new restaurant and in the car park at Modarawatta. The mentioned small toilet in the article was built only for the use of drivers and the sanitary condition is well maintained by an outsourced company throughout the day. The third factor mentioned in the article is also false. The embankment of the river Ma Oya where the elephants are bathing has a natural stone platform which is one of the attractions of the Orphanage. There is no need for an artificial one as there is ample space for tourists to observe elephants unobstructed. There is no need for visitors to pay for hotels unless they are in need of refreshment.

Further, as the embankment is the property of the Irrigation Department and it is a reservation area, it would be illegal if a construction is done in the embankment encroaching river reservation. Hence, the article in question has disregarded the true and correct information on site and has deliberately written a distorted truth to the condition of the Orphanage.


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