Public funds wasted on ‘model villages’ | Daily News


 

Public funds wasted on ‘model villages’

State Minister Indika Anuruddha addresses the meeting.
State Minister Indika Anuruddha addresses the meeting.

The National Housing Authority (NHA) has set up 337 model villages under the Semata Sevana housing scheme but except 84 model villages, all the others are incomplete.

This was revealed at a review meeting chaired by State Minister Indika Anuruddha at the Hambantota District Secretariat Office on December 12.

It was revealed at the meeting that works on 2,562 model villages had commenced but only 367 have been completed. Of them, many have been built in Hambantota. About Rs. 337 million was spent on building 337 model villages but only 84 had been completed.

The incomplete model villages include 190 built on grants, 14 built on Grama Shakthi loan scheme and 49 built with Indian grants. Thirty five villages have not received their first loan installment to date. They include one model village in Lunugamvehera, 13 in Tangalle, 10 in Beliatte, two in Weeraketiya, four in Agunukolapellsa, two in Kuruwana, two in Suriyawewa and one in Tisseamaharama.

The Hambantota Housing Development Authority has recruited 680 Grama Shakthi officers.

The Hambantota office has only one vehicle but 12 drivers have been recruited. Furthermore, the district office has only 45 officers but 36 office assistants have been working. Annually, they have been paid Rs. 480 million as salaries but only Rs. 311 million has been spent on building houses. The Pradesheeya Sabha (PS) officers who were present at the meeting said that PS approvals had not been granted to any of these model villages and it is causing many issues when providing PS services for the model villages.

The State Minister said at the meeting that the former housing ministry had spent public funds recklessly.

“An excess of staff had been recruited by the previous ministry. Now they are in vain. Many model villages are incomplete but the allocated money has been spent. We have to take immediate steps to rectify the situation and make those responsible for the wastage accountable,” he said.


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