Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Tree Tunnel..........

Sunset Boulevard, I never been there but I have watched the movie. It was the first time I saw Cecil B DeMille as an actor. I n Sri lanka we don’t have  boulevards.
Boulaverd the name itself related to French.Sri Lanka lucky or unluckily never become  a colony of  France. We have almost every British ,Dutch urban design features such  as   water fountains, crescents, esplanade, tea gardens, forts, forecourts’, but not French urban planning not even a  single word of it.

Typical boulevard character is large wide road running through the city which allows vehicles to move and both side pedestrian walkway with a buffer of trees. It says during the time of Louis XIV, that he wanted run his royal carriage without any obstructs, so he cleans the road and widen it. Also it says during the French revolution the  king wanted widening of the road   for military purpose.
 Still the famous Champs-Élysées one of the best tourist attraction on 14 th of July for its military Parade. 

Apart from that those who visited France will never miss this boulevard because it is connecting the triumph of arch and Place Charles de Gaulle. The other best thing is very expensive shops.  So far I have not done shopping in Champs-Élysées but someday who knows.

As an urban design feature the boulevard concept nicely adopted in many countries. The famous sunset boulevard does not have large tree like France, but it has palm trees which gives   certain uniqueness and different feel. Anyway I never had been to Sunset Boulevard either. 

Who cares that Edgar Rice Burroughs never been to Africa, but still he wrote Tarzen and whole series is about Africa, the jungle .I think we don t have to be the place to enjoy it.We never been to moon but we feel it and enjoy it.Writing poems about it.

But in Sri Lanka I do pass the Denzil Kobbakaduwa Mawatha. Well it’s not even remotely close like Champs-Élysées in Paris or Sunset Boulevard in LA either .But it has nice large canopy of trees which reminds something different where I can’t  expect  close to Colombo.

 Lieutenant General Denzel Kobbekaduwa is a Sri Lankan war hero who died long before the Final battle in Pudu Matalan. Actually he died in Kytes island, if you are been to Naga deepa through island Kytes there is a road post showing Araly.That is the place Lieutenant General Denzil  Kobbekaduwa was assassinated  including another ten or more high rank army offcers,Even his death was subjected to lot of rumors and his wife called for an international commission into the incident. But this was not granted, again the Sri Lankan government set up their own commission to investigate. A Presidential Commission carried out by the Sri Lankan Government and it concluded making two people directly responsible for this incident, one of them was a former Sri Lankan President. Well that al belongs to history, now we have only this road named after him,

During the time he was assassinated he had, successfully won the Vadamarachchi Operation in 1987.(
As per the war expertise there was a propensity of ending the Sir Lankan civil war If Lieutenant General Denzel Kobbekaduwa was alive,

The last time when I was in Jaffna, I really wanted to go Araly at least to see the monument but the sandy road does not give the permission to my small car, so I had to turn back. I’m not a person who simply turns back, I started walk but it was burning sun it was dam too hard to walk and alone. My mother strongly refused the idea of walking.

Again back to the Denzel Kobbekaduwa Mawatha, when I heard this road first time I was working as an apprentice in Arch.Sumangala Jayatilake’s studio spaced out. I was in second year or third year in my architectural education. As an apprentice   one duty was answering to the landline. It was a famous advertising owner who called to  our office saying that he wanted to help with building for Army veterans,we helped with the design and drawings were submitted to a famous Buddhist monk .At that time this road did not look green as today.

 Now the building we designed. can be seen on the left side of the junction from Battaramulla side. The planting of trees was a one of very clever idea I’m not sure who made that decision. But I am pretty sure this road did not belongs to recent Colombo city modifications, Because still I don t see the red paving blocks  on the  pedestrian walk.

The road continues up Koswatta Junction, but the tree canopy has only 2/3 of this road which is quit shame. There are several government offices are located, but I am more regular to the fish market which is nearly on the end of the road. Also there is a small park recently has opend. 

I too have nice memories on this road. It does not matter whether you drive, walk or standing under a tree it sort of nice experience. I have done all of these at the moment the pedestrian walk way under renovations, seems  it’s going to  be cement block paving’s. I wish instead of that tree canopy will continue up to the Koswatta Junction.

We also this as an alternative access to the parliament road to avoid Battaramulla city traffic. I think it may be the idea of this road because public transport has not encouraged yet. Some of you may not recognize this road by its name or   canopy of trees, yet you may be gone to Havai restaurant perhaps for a drink at night with friends where you cannot notice any of above.

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