In the recent weeks several transformers in Jaffna peninsula are getting fortified with Palmyra logs, according to a report in Thinakkural, a Tamil daily published from Colombo.
Palmyrah trees are being felled on a large scale for the fortifying purposes by Sri Lanka Army and general public is being put to ‘work’, to build the fortifications, the newspaper said.
New security arrangements around transformers were introduced in Jaffna recently, as several were damaged due to being fired upon by unknown persons.
Thinakkural added disappointment is expressed on behalf of the general public, as people from the area and passersby are taken at random and put to ‘work’ with numerous delays, curtailing the daily routines of those civilians.
At least in one location, Sirupitty, 3 youths were stuck by electricity and injured while setting up the fortification.
The Sri Lanka Palmyrah Development Board and private initiatives over the years have seen an active palmyrah replanting scheme. Felling the trees indiscriminately is negating the initiative, members of civil society said.
Palmyrah tree and matured palms supply basic essentials to Jaffna citizens in several ways. They serve as valuable timber for construction of dwellings after it’s utility period which is more than hundred years.