via The Sunday Times, 11 April 2021: Proposed wall would have adverse effects to the coral reef around Galle Fort.
The Urban Development Ministry had cancelled plans for a 30 million-rupee boulder wall around the sea-side ramparts of the Galle Fort after residents protested to the World Bank (WB), the funder, that it would destroy the surrounding coral reef.
The WB decided not to finance the boulder-stacking component of the restoration and improvement of the ramparts under the Strategic Cities Development Project (SCDP) for Galle after an outcry by residents in the Galle Fort. “The SCDP has no further interest in those activities hereafter,” says a letter from H.M.A.R. Madawela, Additional Project Director (Galle).
The SCDP is an Urban Development Ministry initiative being carried out in Kandy, Galle, Jaffna, Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Ratnapura and Kurunegala and backed by the WB, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Agence Francaise de Developpment (AFD).
Lawyer Uzman Anver occupies a historic Dutch house in the Fort and his family has lived in Galle for eight generations. He said residents had welcomed initiatives to preserve the Galle Fort. But when it came to the boulder wall, they had been concerned it would affect the long-term stability and quality of the coastal zone. It, therefore, required an environmental impact assessment (EIA) but this had not been done.