The Parakrama Samudra, was King Parakramabahu’s greatest contribution to the people of Sri Lanka. This water system is so large it was called samudhraya or ocean, strong winds cause swells, so large to the size of ocean waves. For centuries the breakwater has protected the water in the Parakrama Samudraya, without letting a drop of water go to waste.
With two jogging tracks already existing around the ancient Parakarama Samudraya and both in good condition, a third walking path was proposed by the Urban Development Authority and the construction will cost Rs. 34 million. This 08 feet wide walking path will cover a 1.7 km stretch from the Divisional Secretary Official Residence to the D. S. Senanayake memorial at the Number 01 Sluice Gate of the Parakrama Samudraya.
At a time the economy of the country is in a grim state, a video showed that the construction works have commenced and bulldozers were used to shove the rocks of the breakwater into the Parakrama Samudraya to construct the new walking path around the ancient water system and the Polonnaruwa District Town Planning Officer has said the jogging track plan was in the works for almost two years.
Further, Irrigation Engineer in charge of the Parakrama Samudraya has said no harm will come to the ancient water conservation system, simply because boulders are shoved into the water. We have been trapped inside the traditional frame work and we need to progress with the world. This jogging track is not only for exercises, but is a need in the area for a prolonged period.
In this scenario, construction of new walkway raised questions, while area was being cleared for the project. Sadly, a common feature and situation seen many times before in Sri Lanka; due to political issues Parakrama Samudra Jogging Track project was suspended, and bulldozed breakwater is to the restored!