Development programmes to be implemented by mayoral candidates of DMMC

Published : 9:03 am  February 1, 2018 | No comments so far |  |  (368) reads | 

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LATE-CITY-DM-1-6 Text & Pics by H. M Dharmapala  
The election of Councillors for the Dehiwela- Mount Lavinia Municipality (DMMC)will bring forth solutions to many issues faced by its residents, it will also bring solutions to several logistical issues that would need to be resolved as soon as possible.   Commissioner of the Municipality Dhammika Muthugala spoke to the Daily mirror  this week as part of a  series of articles focusing on urban issues relevant to municipality areas and those that will be faced by councillors once elected next week.   


The first obstacle would be the issue of space and time when the new councillors come in for meetings. “We had 29 councillors before but we will have 48 councillors this time and this will change several things within the municipality,” Muthugala said.   


Steps have been taken to expand the existing chamber to accommodate the new councillors. The public gallery is being removed to widen the chamber with new seating arrangements made for journalists. Tenders have been called for the committee room which will be used by the council and a sum of Rs. 5 million has been allocated for the process.   


In a bit to ensure the smooth functioning of the municipality’s steps are being taken to hold meetings with only the heads of departments and bring in officers on an as needed basis. “We also have to make the necessary allocations for them financially for the year,” the commissioner said.   


Muthugala stressed that discussions will be held with party representatives to allocate time for each councillor to raise questions and speak during meetings to effectively use time available.   
“We will also organize a workshop for newly elected members to learn the proceedings of the municipality,” he said. 

 
While candidates spoke on a wide range of subjects only two common themes connected the four. The dengue epidemic, ill made drains and neglected road maintenance and canals along with the garbage issue which all four promised to resolve once elected.   


The commissioner went on to say the development and maintenance of common amenities was one of the main issues that were faced by the residents. When questioned, all mayoral candidates spoke of the development of the roads and drains and assured that measures would be taken to reduce the flooding in the area.   


“We have identified that 80 percent of the roads that come under our purview, even though developed and carpeted are mosquito breeding grounds as the drainage systems have not been constructed properly.”   


The spreading dengue epidemic has become a health issue and therefore establishing a new project to not only clear out existing drains but also put in place a better system in the coming year would be one of the biggest challenges that would be faced by the new council.   


“We hope to establish a system through which the water will flow with no stagnation straight to the sea.”   

 

We have identified that 80 percent of the roads that come under our purview, even though developed and carpeted are mosquito breeding grounds as the drainage systems have not been constructed properly


LATE-CITY-DM-24-1However, for the smooth functioning of these new drainage system, drains and low lands coming under the purview of other government authorities need to be cleared and maintained regularly.   
Muthugala stated that working hand in hand with government authorities would help keep the municipality area clean, projects he hopes to implement would be carried out by the newly elected councillors.   


Unauthorized constructions on reserve land and close to the canal has ensured narrower canals which in turn have resulted in several municipality areas flooding for the slightest rain. “The Canal on Waidya Road has become narrow over the years and this has constricted the flow of water to the sea which in turn has also ensured the increase in dengue in these areas,” the commissioner said.   
Mayoral candidates Sunethra Ranasinghe (UNP) and Kesaralal Gunasekara (UPFA) promised to implement programmes that would reduce the flooding in the area. All candidates however, pledged to ensure the dengue epidemic did not spread within the municipality limits.   


Clean roads and clear canals were the motto’s of all candidates, however, SLPP mayoral candidate Dhanasiri Amaratunga said the roads of Dehiwela and Mount Lavinia had been flooded due to garbage dump in an ad-hoc manner.   


“The drains were blocked because of this and to resolve the issue the central government provided us the necessary support to purchase a fleet of garbage collection trucks. Stern action taken at the time ensured the problem did not aggravate as time went by,” he said.   


Following are comments by mayoral candidates regarding the projects that would be implemented to address issues faced by residents when elected. 

 

The Dehiwela zoo brings in a lot of visitors, especially on holidays and the number of vehicles creates a lot of traffic in the area. The large buses coming in from different parts of the country are parked on the main road and that creates a lot of traffic. We need to look for a land close by which can be used as a parking lot

 

Other issue that need to be addressed 


Meanwhile, Commissioner Muthugala said that some of the other issues that need to be resolved soon would be the traffic caused by the numerous large buses that were parked outside the zoo each day, the inadequate facilities that for vendors at the Karagampitiya fair, the scarcity of employees at the municipality and need for living quarters for municipality officials.   


While many of these issues were not addressed by mayoral candidates, it is explained as follows for the benefit of the public.   


“The Dehiwela zoo brings in a lot of visitors, especially on holidays and the number of vehicles creates a lot of traffic in the area. The large buses coming in from different parts of the country are parked on the main road and that creates a lot of traffic. We need to look for a land close by which can be used as a parking lot,” the commissioner said.   


LATE-CITY-DM-1-6Another issue creating traffic in the area would be the Karagampitiya Sunday fair which was held along the road. The unhygienic conditions of the fair was also something that needed to be addressed. “Everything is left outside in the dust and sun. We need to provide better conditions for them. Maybe shift the fair to another area,” he said.   

 

Everything is left outside in the dust and sun. We need to provide better conditions for them. Maybe shift the fair to another area


However, the biggest issues impeding the progress of the municipality was the lack of prominent officials such as the municipality secretary, assistant secretary, sports officers, engineers and management level employees. “These appointments should be made by the public services commission.”   


Finally, the lack of living quarters for municipality officers was an inconvenience for many who did not live within the municipality area. “The quarters that we have  allocated for projects and providing good housing for our employees is something that we need to look at seriously,” the commissioner said.     

 

The quarters that we have  allocated for projects and providing good housing for our employees is something that we need to look at seriously