BMICH, too expensive to hold CMC meeting

Published : 12:10 am  April 3, 2018 | No comments so far |  |  (386) reads | 

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By Nabeela Hussain   

The Colombo Municipality has backtracked on its decision to hold council meeting at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) after taking into consideration the high cost involved with the move.   
The inaugural meeting of the Colombo Municipality which  would to be held on April 5 was scheduled to be held at the New Town Hall premises.   


The recent revamp of the electoral system had created a dearth of physical space in the premises of most local government bodies across the country, forcing officials to enlarge existing council chambers or like the Colombo Municipality hold meetings, including the inaugural, at other venues.    Last year, the Municipality announced its decision to hold council meetings at the BMICH due to the lack of seating capacity for the newly elected councillors, which had increased from 53 to 119.   


“We looked at the cost and the fact that we will have to hold several meetings at a different location. Considering all circumstances we decided to hold the meetings at the New Town Hall, as it is cost effective,” a source said.   
When the Daily Mirror contacted officials last year, it learnt that the existing chamber could not be renovated without the approval of the Council as it was situated in a historical building. The situation left officials in a pickle as they were unable to construct a new chamber without the council’s approval as well.   


However, a decision was made to convene the Council’s inaugural meeting and several others at the BMICH while a new chamber was constructed. Approval for the construction of the new chamber  was to be the one of the first orders of the new Council. Sources stated that a new chamber would be errected at the Town Hall building, after the construction of the Municipality’s new building is completed in the coming months. Several departments were also to be shifted to the new building making space for a new council chamber at the New Town Hall.   


The old chamber would to be converted to a museum, housing the history of the Colombo Municipality, it is said.   

 

When the Daily Mirror contacted officials last year, it learnt that the existing chamber could not be renovated without the approval of the Council as it was situated in a historical building


The Town Hall building constructed in 1928 had housed the Council Chamber, the meeting place for elected representatives of the Colombo Municipal Council, under its dome since it was declared open by then Governor Sir Herbert Stanley.