Construction Clearance

Issuing Landslide Clearance for Construction in Landslide Prone Areas

Since majority of recent landslides are induced by human intervention, His Excellency the President, as the chairperson of the National Council for Disaster Management (NCDM), and the Ministry of Disaster Management have decided to make obtaining concurrence of NBRO mandatory when construction activities are implemented in the identified landslide prone areas. View Circular

The objectives of issuing NBRO’s clearance for construction in landslide prone areas are to minimize the landslide disaster risk and to increase the safety of life and property from future slope instabilities. This objective is achieved by

  • Evaluating the existing landslide susceptibility of the land selected for the intended construction based on the existing geological, geotechnical and hydrological characteristics of the terrain enclosing the selected site
  • Evaluating the possible changes in slope stability due to the required ground preparations and slope modifications for planned construction
  • Evaluating the possible changes in slope stability due to the impact of planned construction on the hydrological characteristics of the terrain
  • Recommending planned construction, with necessary conditions, when the potential to landslides/slope failures are minimal
  • Studying the terrain in detail when there is a potential to landslides/slope failures, and if mitigation is viable,  then recommending introduction of remedial measures for the intended construction to minimize the susceptibility for any anticipated landslides/slope failures, and
  • Discouraging construction where there is a susceptibility to landslides/slope failures for which remedial measures are not feasible.
Landslide Prone Districts:

Kandy, Matale, Nuwara Eliya, Badulla, Kegalle, Ratnapura, Kalutara, Galle, Matara, and Hambantota have been declared as landslide prone districts by NBRO. Therefore, all construction those take places within those ten (10) districts need to obtain NBRO’s clearance. However, exemptions may apply to certain areas located within the Kalutara, Galle, Matara and Hambantota districts and Mahiyangana, Embilipitiya, Dambulla and Galewela Local Authorities depending on the characteristics of the terrain.


  • Local authorities and other project approving agencies, which approve any construction within the landslide prone districts mentioned above, need to request their clients to submit NBRO’s clearance certificate.
  • Local authorities and other project approving agencies will issue their clients the copies of the relevant application and the guidelines to complete the application at a nominal fee of Rs. 25.00.
  • If the application is issued by a Local Authority or any other project approving agency, the official stamp of that local authority/agency should be clearly placed on the application.
  • Clearance is issued under 3 categories.
    • Clearance for building construction
      Applicants, who expect clearance for building construction within the above districts, should obtain the application No. NBRO/01/LAB from the local authority or the relevant project approving agency and hand over the completed application to the same institution from which the application was issued. Download application.
    • Planning and land subdivision clearance.
      Applicants, who expect clearance for development planning and/or land subdivision either for personal or commercial purposes, should obtain the application No. NBRO/02/LAD from the local authority or the relevant project approving agency and hand over the completed application to the NBRO district office. Download Application.
    • Clearance for other construction and development
      Applicants, who expect clearance for implementing any development activity and/or any construction other than buildings, within above districts, should obtain the application No. NBRO/03/LAP from the local authority or the relevant project approving agency and hand over the completed application to the NBRO district office. Download Application
  • All applications should accompany the following documents.
    • Two copies of the survey plan prepared by a licensed surveyor for the plot of land and the surrounding area.
    • A copy of the deed.
    • A contour plan prepared for the piece of land, at 1:1000 scale, by a licensed surveyor may be required, if a detailed investigation has to be performed.
  • In addition, following documents will be required depending on the type of application.
    • For Application No. NBRO/01/LAB and Application No. NBRO/02/LAD if any type of building construction is already proposed for the land
      Construction drawings and building layout plan certified by a professionally qualified person (More details can be obtained by referring the instructions provided with the Application).
    • For Application No. NBRO/03/LAP
      A letter issued by the project approving agency requesting the client to submit a clearance certificate from NBRO for the intended project
  • The client is required to pay NBRO a fee for investigations and related other expenses. For issuing building construction clearance (Application No. NBRO/01/LAB), the fees are charged as indicated below
  • NBRO will provide an estimate for the charges relevant to Applications Nos. NBRO/02/LAD and NBRO/03/LAP

Application processing fee

Construction of houses by low income families and Samurdhi beneficiaries: Rs. 100.00. Other housing, religious and public buildings based on the area of the land where construction takes place:

Area is less than 20 Perches Rs. 500.00
Area is between 20 – 40 Perches Rs. 1,000.00
Area is between 40 – 60 Perches Rs. 1,500.00
Area is between 60 – 80 Perches Rs. 2,000.00
Area is between 80 – 100 Perches Rs. 2,500.00
Area is between 100 Perches- 01 Acre Rs. 3,000.00
Area more than 01 Acre Rs. 4,000.00

For commercial buildings including industrial and hotels:

Area is less than 01 Acre Rs. 5,000.00
Area is between 01 – 02 Acres Rs. 10,000.00
Area is between 02 – 03 Acres Rs. 15,000.00
Area is between 03 – 04 Acres Rs. 20,000.00
Area is between 04 – 05 Acres Rs. 25,000.00
Area is more than 05 Acres Rs. 25000 + Rs. 2,500.00 per each additional Acre

LRRMD carries out applied research on landslides disaster management and constantly improves her expertise in landslide hazard identification, risk evaluation, appropriate construction and land use practices, cost effective mitigation measures and real time landslide early warning and forecasting.

  • Applicability of Relative Weights of Existing Landslide Hazard Zonation Methodology for Different Terrain Conditions of Sri Lanka.
  • Evaluating the hazard situation caused by the Karst subsurface conditions at Vijaya Srigama village, Digana, Kandy.
  • Evaluation of presently applied designed criteria and mitigation measures for Sri Lankan landslides and selection of most suitable design by modelling.
  • Setting of Standard Rainfall for Early Warning System (EWS) considering past landslide incidences in Sri Lanka with reference to 24hrs working rainfall.
  • Contribution of Geological Structural Orientation on Cut Slope Failures along Roads in Mountainous Terrain.
  • Finding the cause of land subsidence in limestone terrain of Achchuwlei area, Jaffna.


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