Rate payers owe Rs 700 Mn Colombo MC turns to auction option

Published : 2:48 am  August 15, 2015 | No comments so far |  | 


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Arrears of Rs. 700 million in rates to the Colombo Municipality has prompted the auction of at least 400 private properties in the city, municipality sources said yesterday. 

The auction of properties which took place last year saw a number of private properties auctioned by the CMC while some were saved by owners at the last moment. The properties to be auctioned will be gazetted by the municipality in October and the auction would be held early next year.  The Ministry of Public Administration has issued all public enterprises regarding the payment of rates to the ministry.  A committee in which the PM was a member, has directed to formulate a mechanism to pay rates.   The programme which was conducted last year raked in several million in taxes that were overdue from rate payers. 

The municipality had also written to the Attorney General’s Department seeking advice on how to tackle government organisations that had not paid rates over the years.   


The Bambalapitiya bombshell 

Demolition of Bamba flats being discussed: but flat dwellers kept in the dark

By Rumana Razick
Referring to an article published by the Daily Mirror Metro on Saturday 8th August 2015 titled “Discussion to demolish Bambalapitiya Flats”, the Board of Investment (BOI) said that it “wishes to confirm that there is no truth to what is alleged in that article.”

In a letter written to the Daily Mirror dated 14. 08. 2015, the BOI further said that it has communicated with the management corporations of the Bambalapitiya Flats regarding its stance on the demolition of the flats.

The letter sent to all management corporations of Bambalapitiya Flats stated that this project was approved by the previous government on 26th November 2014 after discussions held between the Condominium Management Authority (CMA) and the representatives of all management corporations in the premises. 

While adding that the BOI has advised parties concerned to consult with the owners or the Condominium Management Corporation representatives regarding their needs, the BOI said that no steps will be taken in this project on a unilateral decision. 

However when the  Daily Mirror contacted the BOI, National Housing Development Authority (NHDA) and the CMA last week, it was found that despite the residents not being informed of the project, it was at its discussion stage.

The NHDA said last week that it’s the duty of the CMA to inform the residents of the project as it is a condominium, while the CMA in response said that it has nothing to do with it as the land on which the flats stand is owned by the NHDA.





Forty years’ of neglect?

Kawdana-Attidiya road in a shambles

By H.M.Dharmapala and Kusal Chamath 
DSC01435Residents of the area have been complaining about the dilapidated condition of the Kawdana- Attidiya main road in Ratmalana for several years, The road that runs through a highly populated area linking Attidya Road with the Galle Road. The road constructed by former Minister C.V.Gunaratne at a cost of Rs.420 million in the late 1970s has not been repaired since then.  The government had acquired private land from Galle Road to Palliyadora Junction and paid compensation. The plan to improve the road had been hampered by obstruction to land acquisition.  

The Ceylon Electricity Board shifted the street lamp posts standing at the centre of the road after the road was widened. But the telephone posts are still on the middle of the road obstructing traffic. 

People living along the road pointed out that the side drains had not been constructed when the road was widened and that it resulted in flooding during heavy rains. Area residents accused the authorities of ignoring the need to acquire land and develop the rest of the road. They pointed out that land  acquired earlier were now  occupied by unauthorised settlers who built shanties and stalls while land owners had not yet received any compensation.

A senior official of the Road Development Road said the funds allocated to the project were exhausted after paying compensation to land owners and that no more funds had  been received to complete the project or to maintain the road. The residents of the area want an answer to the problem.






Not even bottled water

Even after five months of closure Fort Railway Station has no cafeteria

By Lahiru Pothmulla  
IMG_9338Train commuters using the Colombo Fort Railway Station are still facing grave inconveniences due to the lack of cafeteria facilities at the station though it had been almost five months since the cafeteria was shut down. Sources at the railway station said the welfare society of the Fort Railway Station had written to the Railway Department seeking permission to manage the cafeteria but had not received a response so far. “A large number of commuters using the station are facing difficulties because of this issue. The station is used daily by many school students but they don’t have the facility to purchase even a bottle of water at the station. As a remedy,  the welfare society requested the department to allow them to run the cafeteria but they have not received a reply so far,” sources said.

The cafeteria at the station was closed as the previous contractor who managed the cafeteria had failed to pay rent to the department.

Since the commuters had no alternative, they had made it a habit to use the eateries outside the Fort Railway Station which are in a poor hygiene condition.Because of that reason, the Colombo Municipality’s Health Department  recently took legal action against nine of the eateries operating in the  vicinity of the station. Area Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Subash Mendis said the eateries which could be operated as snack bars had eventually started cooking meals inside the eateries. “Some of the eateries had even used firewood to cook, which is a main way of spreading germs. Food items were found stored violating laws and employees residing in small rooms also in poor hygiene condition,” he said.