Neglected housing projects to be completed - PM | Daily News


Neglected housing projects to be completed - PM

A number of urban development and housing projects which were neglected during the last few years will be revived and completed soon, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday. The Prime Minister also said that the government will make allocations for the most creative and innovative city and housing plans from the next budget.

Prime Minister Rajapaksa made these observations at a Progress Review Meeting for Urban Development and Housing Ministries held at Suhurupaya, Battaramulla, where lengthy discussions were held concerning the urban development projects centering the city of Colombo, including the Port City project, railways, and development plans for Jaffna, Kandy and Anuradhapura.

The Prime Minister paid attention on proper garbage disposal in line with the city development projects. He also gave instructions to the Urban Development Authority(UDA) officials to pay special attention to development, housing and waste management projects which were overlooked during the previous years.

Prime Minister Rajapaksa also pointed out that a number of housing projects commenced during the last four and a half years by the Urban Development Authority are not completed. He also said that the monies allotted for these projects have not been utilized for their construction activities.

During the meeting, State Minister for Housing Indika Anuruddha pointed out to the Prime Minister that there have been many instances where monies were allotted only for 100 houses whereas 1000 foundation stones have been laid, deceiving the general public. It was also pointed out that during the years 2017, 2018 and 2019, construction activities for 96,344 housing units commenced.However, the necessary allocations around Rs.26,000 million to complete these projects were not available.

Prime Minister Rajapaksa observed that the Urban Development Authority and Housing Development Authority have carried out programmes which are not directly relevant to these two institutions, as a result of which they are suffering from financial losses.

Prime Minister Rajapaksa further said that the government would take measures to relieve these institutions of their financial losses and reactivate them.

“I believe that we need to find a way to revive these institutions. We will get into trouble if we run these institutions while incurring losses. Therefore, we need good financial management and administration. We cannot get any allocations from the General Treasury right now. We should wait until the next Budget. However, we can seek financial assistance from other ministries if available. For example, if the Health Ministry or the Ministry of Buddhasasana have additional financial capabilities, you can obtain those funds after holding discussions with them,” Premier Rajapaksa said.

The Prime Minister pointed out that the previous government has unnecessarily sought foreign expertise for construction projects and paying them large sums of monies. Prime Minister Rajapaksa directed the officials to seek the advice of local experts’ for construction projects.

Prime Minister Rajapaksa also instructed the UDA to establish a hostel facility in Colombo for school athletes who come for practices from the outstations. He also instructed the relevant authorities to produce the required number of hospital beds for government hospitals without having to import them. It was also decided to manufacture the doors, windows and other relevant equipment necessary for housing scheme projects using our workforce.

UDA and Housing Development Authority officials said that billions of rupees had been spent as advertising expenses.

Fifteen government institutions including the Urban Development Authority, Sri Lanka Land Development Corporation, National Physical Planning Department, National Housing Development Authority, Urban Settlement Development Authority, State Engineering Corporation and the Department of Government Factory participated in the meeting.

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