Angampitiya housing complex under threat of caving inPublished : 9:17 am December 22, 2016 | No comments so far | | (612) reads |
Text & Pics By Muditha Dayananda
The Angampitiya housing complex constructed by the Kotte Municipal Council and vested with the public just five months ago appears to be caving in, former opposition leader of the council Sugath Appuhamy and a group of residents of the housing complex said.
In some of these houses the gully pits of the toilets are now overflowing and the Municipal Council had not intervened in this matter. The houses had been constructed without a foundation but on concrete beams. The soil that had been filled while laying these concrete beams is now in the process of erosion and the walls of the houses had shown cracks.
It was revealed that there were 12 houses erected by the former chairman of the Council Chandra De Silva and former Deputy Chairman Mahesh Palitha. As these houses needed repairs, a request had been made to the council to attend to it. After prolonged agitation the former Mayor Janaka Ranawaka constructed these new houses and opened them in July last year as confirmed by the residents.
However within one month of the occupation of the houses, cracks on the walls and floors had been observed. There had been no response from the authorities when this issue was brought before their attention. The residents claim that prior to the demolition of their previous dwellings, the council had promised larger and spacious houses. Instead the so-called new houses are too small and the furniture that was kept in the former houses cannot be placed inside, with the living space for four persons being hardly sufficient. There is only one room and in the event of someone in the family falling ill there is no room to have the patient separated.
There is no separate space for a woman to change. The rent payable earlier had been Rs75/= and now it has been increased to Rs.1000. Late payments are charged another Rs.100. When complaints are made to the council, they provide the telephone number of the contractor, which is of no use as the contractors do not respond, the residents charged.
Sugath Appuhamy the former Opposition Leader of the Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte MC expressed these views. “These houses were built on water. I continuously said that these houses would cave in if built and urged them not to build them. Instead, I requested the authorities to build only the twelve houses, but they did not heed my request and built 24 houses and gave twelve to the council members to allocate them as they wished. These houses had cost Rs. 500 million, which is doubtful from the look of them. If within five months the houses are in this state you can imagine what will happen in an years’ time. These houses can fall on the heads of the residents. The council should take immediate remedial action in this regard.”
Municipal Commissioner Shantha P. Liyanage replied that the Municipal Engineer had been directed to take necessary action. The Engineer explaining the position said that this construction had been carried out according to Micro Piling System and therefore there is no possibility of the houses caving in. He promised to conduct an inspection of the peculiar position at the site.
Former Mayor of the Kotte Municipal Council Janaka Ranawaka in his reply to our queries said that these houses were erected with the approval of the council and only Rs. 50 million was allocated. We have yet to pay Rs. 7.4 million to the contractor. As these constructions are made according to Micro Piling System there is no room for caving in. If the contractor had failed in his duties, we could hold the balance payment and also recover the cost already paid to him.