Vestiges of Bridge on The River Kwai In Danger of Being Wiped Out

A government plan to build a power plant nearby will lead to the blasting of the site and the annihilation of the last remains of the bridge which are a major tourist attraction. 

Published: 21st February 2016 05:21 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd February 2016 06:26 AM   |  A+A-

Vestige

COLOMBO: Vestiges of a bridge which was erected over the Kelani river at Kithulgala 92 km from the Sri Lankan capital for the shooting of the iconic Hollywood film Bridge On The River Kwai  60 years ago, are now in danger of being wiped out, causing dismay among film buffs.   

A government plan to build a power plant nearby will lead to the blasting of the site and the annihilation of the last remains of the bridge which are a major tourist attraction. 

“The bridge which was constructed for the film was blown up as per the script, but vestiges of it in the form of iron bars and concrete slabs have remained to attract people from across the world,” said veteran Lankan film maker, Chandran Rutnam.

“And remember, year after year, Bridge On The River Kwai has been on the list of the ten best films ever made. Its DVDs still sell,” he told Express.

Having put Sri Lanka on the map of world cinema as an ideal shooting site through his Asian Film Location Services, Rutnam has been a long standing campaigner for the re-construction of the wooden bridge and the setting up of a museum related to the Oscar award winning 1956 classic starring Alec Guinness. Rutnam’s passion is understandable because he was Director David Lean’s Props Assistant.

Rafters’ Plight 

While Rutnam is hopeful that Lanka’s enlightened Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, will accept his suggestion, the White Water Rafters’ Association is not sure if rafting, which is another major tourist attraction in Kithulgala, can be saved. 

“There are 25 rafting companies catering to about 300 rafters per day. If the power plant restricts the flow of water, rafting cannot take place.  We are told that water will be released between 10 am and 2 pm but we are not sure,” said association chairman, Channa Perera.

“Kithulgala is one of the five best rafting sites in the world and is the only one in Lanka. I don’t think it should be annihilated for the sake of a 28 MW plant,” Perera said.  



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