The government is concentrating on protecting sensitive environmental zones rich in water resources.
Environment Minister Anura Priyadarchana Yapa has said the government was looking at banning the construction of houses and buildings on land 5,000 feet above the mean sea level.
Yapa has told a gathering of heads of local authorities in the Central Province that legislation needed to be put in place to protect the forest cover of catchment areas of reservoirs.
He had expressed concern over the ad hoc clearing of forest cover in the upcountry hills for housing.
According to Yapa, this has resulted in extensive damage being caused to the water resources and the catchment areas of major reservoirs.