Kotte Mayor calls for more support from Government | Daily News

Kotte Mayor calls for more support from Government

The Municipal Council which runs the capital receives very little support from the Central Government and its agencies, according to the Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte Mayor.

In the last eight months since we assumed office, support from the Central Government to run the Local Government area has been very weak, said Mayor Madura Vithanage.

He was addressing the first Council session for the year yesterday.

Vithanage, a member of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) has the support of 17 members (apart from him) out of a Council of 37, but outside its chambers, he has to rely heavily on the support of Central Government agencies to keep the city running.

“There are areas which come under the Road Development Authority (RDA), Sri Lanka Land Reclamation & Development Corporation (SLLRDC) or the Urban Development Authority (UDA), but when the people see things not working, they blame us,” he informed the Chamber.

“In the two years that the Local Governments did not have a political authority, many things came to a halt and decisions were not made. The officials too were unable to solve many of the issues, due to their limited mandate. It was a mess when we took over and we are still sorting some of it out”.

To complicate matters further,” the Mayor complained that a SLPP run Local Government, UNF run Central Government and a SLFP Presidency was making it difficult to get things done.

JVP member Arosha Attapattu earlier brought to the Mayor’s notice that there were insufficient street lights with even the main Rajagiriya bus stand in darkness. Further many of the main drains remain unclean, causing major health issues, “The RDA is just not cleaning any of the drains but we are the ones who get the complaints”, said Attapattu.

The Mayor touching on the above topic in his speech stated that he was finding it difficult to get Central Government agencies to respond positively to issues in the area,“There were several meetings ith ministers and senior government officials with regard to this, but nothing came of it.

“There is no one in charge to complain to and the officials are negligent. The drains on even the main roads like Nawala road, and Parliament road which comes under the RDA are not being cleaned, so we do it.Limited resources of the Local Government are being used to do Central Government work,” he added.

Despite the bigger workload however, repeated requests to increase the cadre number in the Council has fallen deaf ears,” the Mayor said.

“We have introduced an IT system but we have no job role to hire a professional to manage it. We still function with a cadre requirement of an urban council though we are now a Municipal Council”.

With regards to lighting complaints, the Mayor explained that LECO removed any lights which the MC fixed stating that it was above the quota given to the local area,

“The Central Government needs to take a policy decision on this and increase our quota. Since we use all LEDs now our energy demands have gone down and we can accommodate more lights but our quota has not been updated yet,” Vithanage said.

It was also revealed that the Police have complained to the Mayor that the traffic lights at the Wijerama junction have been broken for the last three months. “But it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Highways and the RDA to look into it and fix. We can’t do it even if we wanted to”.

UNP member Chandima Nayanajith complained that a large cutout of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been displayed at the Nugegoda market premises for a long time along with a political banner against the UNP near Sirikotha with no action being taken, “When we put up green flags, you remove it. We need equal treatment here,” he said.

The Mayor promised to take a policy decision with regards to all political cutouts and that in future he would set up public hoardings, which would allow the general public to post notices of common interest for free.

 


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