Best way to meet challenges in construction industry:
Begin NE reconstruction work - Dakshitha Talgodapitiya
Commencing re-construction work in the North and East immediately is
the best way to overcome the difficulties faced by the construction
industry at present and it must be used as an opportunity to enhance the
quality of life of not only those affected by the conflict but also by
others, CEO Chamber of Construction Industry (CCI) Dakshitha
Talgodapitiya told Daily News Business.
The CCI with its principal constituents has sent an agreement to
Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa offering their support for the
rehabilitation of the North and East. The agreement was signed by the
Presidents of the CCI Surath Wickramasinghe, Institute of Architects
Chandana Edirisuriya, Institute of Quality Surveyors Chitra Wedikkara,
Institute of Valuers, S. N. Wijepala, Institute of Surveyors, H. H.
Subasinghe, National Construction Association, Dr. Rohan Karunaratne,
Association of Consulting Engineers, Tudor Munasinghe and the Institute
of Town Planners L. D. Dickman. Talgodapitiya said that in 2008 the
construction industry recorded a growth of seven to eight percent
compared to over nine percent in 2006-2007.
However, the cause for concern of major stakeholders is the drop in
work which is reflected by the cement consumption being reduced by 20
percent and steel consumption by 30 percent. He said that the growth of
the construction industry must be sustained to meet the challenges
arising from large scale development activities in the conflict affected
The training of construction craftsmen is an essential prerequisite
to enhance the construction capabilities and therefore the CCI has made
arrangements to set up five training centres in the Batticaloa district
with the assistance of Germany.
It has also sought the support of development banks such as Asian
Development Bank and a number of donor agencies to train construction
craftsmen, he said.
Training construction craftsmen provide a gainful livelihood
development for those with the least educational qualifications from the
most vulnerable sector of the country within a short period of time.
This is an ideal approach for livelihood development of IDPs and
conflict affected persons, he said.
Moreover, contractors in the North and East should establish joint
ventures and collaboration arrangements with large domestic companies
and even overseas contractors to benefit those in the region. He said
that the mistakes made in the tsunami reconstruction must be avoided.
The inflow of unaccredited construction contractors more like fly by
night operators to exploit disaster recovery should be avoided at all
costs. All construction work should be carried out by ICTAD registered
contractors only, he said.