Pres­i­dent an­gry over some high­way con­tracts, calls for na­tional pol­icy

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - NEWS -

Pres­i­dent Maithri­pala Sirisena is livid over com­plaints that there are ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties over mul­ti­mil­lion dol­lar con­tracts for ma­jor road con­struc­tion projects and he wants “a na­tional pol­icy on high­ways.”

He made the dec­la­ra­tion at the Progress Re­view meet­ing of the Road Devel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (RDA) last Thurs­day at the Pres­i­den­tial Sec­re­tariat.

Mr Sirisena wanted to know the sta­tus of the on­go­ing road con­struc­tion projects and the funds be­ing spent.

His re­marks came af­ter High­ways State Min­is­ter Di­lan Per­era ( also of­fi­cial spokesper­son for the Sri Lanka Free­dom Party) ex­claimed that it was not nec­es­sary to un­der­take ex­press­way projects in­cur­ring a heavy cost since it would be a fi­nan­cial bur­den on the coun­try. He noted that since Sri Lanka was a small na­tion which has raised large amounts of for­eign loans, it was un­con­scionable to spend them on such projects.

Mr Per­era urged Pres­i­dent Sirisena to first iden­tify such projects on a pri­or­ity ba­sis and em­bark on them. He added that there should be a re­view if ten­der awards were made to com­pa­nies which were iden­ti­fied for wrong do­ing or had been black­listed.

“Meyka can­cel karapu kat­tiy­atada denna yan­ney,” - is this be­ing awarded to a com­pany that has been can­celled for ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties be­fore, Pres­i­dent Sirisena asked. He was al­lud­ing to me­dia re­ports, in­clud­ing in the Sun­day Times to a ten­der be­ing awarded for the Cen­tral Ex­press­way to a Ja­panese com­pany at the be­hest of a se­nior of­fi­cial of the coun­try’s Cab­i­net.

Those present in­cluded High­ways Min­is­ter Lak­sh­man Kiriella, Pres­i­den­tial Sec­re­tary Austin Fer­nando and RDA Chair­man Ni­hal Suriyaarachchi.

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