Newly constructed CMC building not upto required standard: JVP

Published : 9:16 am  May 17, 2018 | No comments so far |  |  (437) reads | 

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By Yohan Perera   

Heated arguments reigned during the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) sessions yesterday when it was revealed that the construction company which had undertaken the project to build the new office building at Colombo Town Hall had failed to meet the quality standards required for constructions, despite the CMC spending Rs 157,953, 496 for it.   


Arguments flared up when a proposal was put before the Council to spend Rs 15,432,721 for the interior construction of the building.   


JVP Member Hemantha Weerakoon revealed that the contractor who undertook the project had failed to meet the quality requirements. “It is not advisable for us to spend more than Rs 1.5 million for the interior construction work of the building. One should not waste public funds in this manner,” he said.   


SLPP Member Sharmila Gonawala said it is a crime to waste public funds in this manner. “We cannot leave room for corruption,” she said.   

 

JVP Member Hemantha Weerakoon revealed that the contractor who undertook the project had failed to meet the quality requirements. “It is not advisable for us to spend more than Rs 1.5 million for the interior construction work of the building. One should not waste public funds in this manner


Mayor Rosy Senanayake said a penalty clause had been included in the construction agreement and penalty was charged from the company. “We have reduced the penalty fee when making payments to the contractor,” she said.   
The Mayor also said that it was practical for the proposal to be approved so that some of the staff could move to the new building in order to reduce the congestion experienced now.   


Senanayake assured that an investigation will be conducted and report will be given to all CMC members.   


However, the proposal to spend Rs 1.5 million for the interior construction work of the new building was put to a vote where 75 members voted for it and 33 against. UPFA members voted against it together with SLPP and JVP members while UNP and TPA members voted for it.   


Some of the Councillors complained that adequate facilities have not been provided to them. UPFA Member Asath Sally said he had not been provided a table and microphone. “I have mentioned about the facilities provided to members during the last session but our requests have not been met,” he said   


Mayor Senanayake who responded to Sally also tendered an apology to all members and said that shortcomings will be rectified soon and also revealed that a new chamber will be set up soon.   


Another issue that popped up at yesterday’s session was the appointment of an opposition leader. SLPP Member Dayakantha Perera said opposition leader should be appointed from his party as they hold 23 seats in the council where as Asath Sally who is to be named to the post has only 18 members to back him following the decision of TPA members had decided to back the ruling party. Sally then said he had not received any notice form TPA saying they have decided to back the ruling party.   


TPA member Priyani Wickremesinghe said her party had already informed the relevant people that they have decided to back the ruling party in the Council.   


UNP members then argued that there are no provisions in the laws to appoint opposition leaders to local bodies.   


Another augment popped up with regard to purchasing of glue tubes. JVP member Hemanth Kumara said a tube could be purchased for around Rs 150 whereas CMC had purchased a tube for more than Rs 200.   
UPFA Member Tony Ramzi also stressed the need for transparency. Mayor who responded invited the members to attend the finance committee meeting so that shortcomings could be addressed effectively.   


Ms. Gonawala raised a question on the payment of compensation to Meetotumulla garbage dump tragedy for which the Mayor said that has been done. However Ms. Gonawala said compensation payments have not been done properly and said she will provide a document to the mayor to prove her point.