Senior Citizens are financially in a critical position. The interest
income on our fixed deposits/savings have been drastically brought down.
In this connection I refer to the advertisement in the Daily News on
January 26, 2010 which stated that three main state banks have made
arrangements to pay 20 percent bonus interest to Senior Ccitizens on
their Rupee deposits with effect from January 01, 2010.
On inquiring I am given to understand that the scheme was
What a great let down! Where do we go from now? Further, the news is
that the interest rates are to be reduced shortly.
Is there any alternate scheme for the relief of the distressed Senior
The main objective of writing this letter is to point out the fallacy
of an action programme carried out by the Road Development Authority
(RDA) to maintain the edges of the public roads. As a man of 70 years I
have witnessed the same action taken by the Public Works Department (PWD)
in the recent past and the Road Development Authority later, to level
the edges of the road by filling the area with sand or gravel. Even a
child in the kindergarten knows that the sand or gravel levelled on
either side of the road washed away by a single rain. It is expected to
facilitate the movements of vehicles as well as the pedestrians by this
method. It can be seen very soon that the stuff applied on the edges of
the road has carried away by the rains and got deposited in the paddy
fields, lands or drains making it inconvenient for the farmers, land
owners as well as the local authorities to remove it.
No need of explanation that the sand has become a rare and precious
material. The police, local government authorities and the politicians
are equally engaged in a combined effort to minimize sand mining,
transport, erosion of river - banks, the black market, middle - men and
various other ill effects and corruptions involved.
Measures have been taken to check gravel mining from recently. It is
a fact that gravel also has become a rare and precious material by now.
In addition to the RDA and the local government authorities various
other public and private agencies, building contractors as well as
private people make use of gravel to fill foundations for new
structures, approach roads and etc. The new measures enforced in
connection with gravel mining and transport is a welcome step taken by
I would like to point out that if gravel mining is bad to the
environment how can it be alright to a public department to do the same?
The time will come very soon that gravel mining will be not possible
even to the RDA because the meagre gravel deposits would be exhausted.
Therefore it would be very timely to change over to a new sustainable
method to preserve the edges of roads. Why should not go for cementing
the roads President Mahinda Rajapaksa introduced for road construction
when that subject came under his jurisdiction? Now it has proved
Thousands of village roads cemented by Pradeshiya Sabhas, Provincial
Councils and other local bodies are intact for several years except in
the places where the proper mixture was not laid or proper conditioning
was not done.
A doctor in medicine recently disclosed in a SLBC radio programme
which was conducted by Dr Carlo Fonseka that stripes of cut tires were
applied in road construction in a region of the Soviet Union.
It has become a problem to get disposed used tires, identified as a
breeding grounds of mosquitoes. Isn’t it not worth while to make use of
used tires for road construction in our country too? The engineers
attached to RDA may do the experiments and make a start with minor
I have read many letters regarding problems in condominiums and would
like to add my views too. What are the specifications or guidelines laid
down by government regarding their location, orientation, waste
disposal, play area for kids, walkways for elders, access for disabled,
shopping facilities, safe from noise and other kinds of pollution and
The occupants of condos do not know the legal requirements of housing
units with respect to engineering and sanitary aspects. They were in a
hurry to buy the units and did not bother whether those units were worth
the money paid for. In many flats there are no electric lifts for upper
floors forcing elders and the sick to live in ground floor which is more
costly. What is the benefit of legislation if it requires to provide
lift only for buildings having more than four floors? Access for
disables were not included even in some state-built flats.
For waste disposal in some new condos no chutes are provided forcing
dwellers to carry waste in lifts causing discomfort to other passengers
and making the lift unclean and smelly. Near the garbage collection you
find mosquitoes, flies and cockroaches and even cats. CMC staff should
spray some disinfectants daily once they collect the garbage.
Cleaning of common areas should be done regularly. Some occupants do
not pay monthly maintenance charges. In old flats there are no emergency
generators or even battery powered emergency lights. Solar lanterns
could be fixed in important locations like shopping areas and street
corners and courtyards.
In many modern condos there are no play grounds for kids or walkways
for elders. In new condos located near the sea, at higher level on the
sixth floor, you get a whistling noise like a cyclone in the nights
disturbing the sleep. Rainwater too seeps into the rooms beneath the
door. From attached bathroom water seeps into the bedroom. Throwing
diapers/sanitary napkins into the toilets should be banned. The
countrymen should know what aspects are checked in the design of a house
plan before getting the approval and who approves it either UDA or NHDA
or CMC or CEA or CMA.
Another nuisance is keeping pets like cats or dogs. Some have the
habit of feeding them. Playing music loudly or making loud noises inside
houses should be banned. Whenever there is a function in “Shalika hall”
they light fire crackers and play loud music even after 10 pm disturbing
kids, sick and the elderly in the adjoining blocks of flats. Another
problem is that there is no monitoring of persons or vehicles entering
the flat area. For a group of 20 blocks of 40 houses in each block,
there are four entrances including a school and government institution.
Can’t they have separate entrances for the school and for the National
At least one security camera with night vision facilities should be
installed for every block of flat and for each of the four main
entrances to the compound.
On rainy days the water level in the toilets of ground floor houses
rises preventing flushing of toilets. Also the rainwater or flood enters
the ground houses. Another issue is allocation of flats or condos
whether built by State or private sector. They should follow some rules
laid down by State.
I would like to highlight the plight of the pedestrians who face
immense difficulties when they try to cross the road by using the Zebra
crossing at the Duplication road near the Liberty Plaza.
Buses stop on the yellow crossing hindering the Zebra crossing to
pedestrians who wish to cross the road. Due to this behaviour of the bus
drivers, people are facing great inconvenience. As a passenger and a
pedestrian who regularly use to cross the road by using this yellow
crossing I have experienced how difficult to cross the road.
The Traffic Police officers on duty in this area are not seriously
concerned about the predicament of the pedestrians the most lamentable
scene is that busses stop on the yellow crossing while looking at the
The Education Ministry policy planners have decided to extend the
learning hours in government schools by one and a half hours.
The decision is made with a view to have more time allocation for
extra curricular, co-council activities with educational work. Despite
the positive support of parents, teachers and learned, many have
opposite views regarding the matter.
From an educational point of view it seems to be rather beneficial as
we have a lot of holidays a year. How many days of classroom learning
takes place in a school. Today most schools pay more attention towards
skill and attitude improvement of their students rather than developing
Therefore in general government examinations the overall results
indicate a certain decrease in proficiency in certain subject areas.
Therefore it is good in a way that the government and the ministry of
education has decided to extend the school hours by one and a half
If schools will be open till three o’clock; policies should be
decided before hand to maintain a positive learning environment within
The policies should be decided in order to maintain a balanced school
timetable with knowledge based activities, attitude and skill based
Preparations of the Budget for 2012 by the Treasury officials must be
As a senior pensioner I felt it is timely to draw the attention to
rectify the anomaly created for pension payments in 2006.
The senior pensioners are languishing in pain today. They are unable
even to buy the essential drugs for sustenance.
Public servants who were in equal salary scales and equal grades
before January 01, 2006 and those who retired before January 01, 2006
are paid a much lower pension than their colleagues who retired after
January 01, 2006.
This is an act of ingratitude for those who shed their blood and
sweat for the welfare of the future generations.
They are old and feeble and unable to come to Liptons Circle or Fort
railway station to voice their grievance.
I walked into a Super Market at Ratmalana on my way home.
While I was doing my purchases I heard someone telling the lady
supervisor that Red Rice is advertised at Rs 46.50 a kilo but the board
displayed it as Rs 48.50. She requested the supervisor to correct the
The supervisor looked flabbergasted but did not utter a word.
Are they attracting customers by showing incorrect prices as a
Customers, please be careful of such display of prices.