New cable-stayed bridge for Lankagama | Daily News


New cable-stayed bridge for Lankagama

SP Governor Dr Willie Gamage reviews the project proposal

The work on a new cable-stayed bridge in place of the Nilaweligama cable-stayed bridge over Gin River at Hena Thotupala in the Lankagama Grama Niladhari Division of the Neluwa Divisional Secretariat area in Hiniduma was commenced on Thursday under the patronage of Southern Province (SP) Governor Dr. Willie Gamage.

It had been completely destroyed in the floods in 2017. The project was planned and implemented by the Southern Provincial Council on special directives of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The President who watched an electronic media news coverage showing the destruction caused to the existed cable-stayed bridge, its defective status and sufferings the people of the remote village of Lankagama had to undergo owing to the absence of the cross over structure, had, in turn, directed the SP Governor to initiate swift action to rectify the problem which caused innumerable grievances to the people of the isolated village which is surrounded by the Sinharaja Rain Forest.

The 90-feet-long Nilaweligama cable-stayed bridge, which starts near the Lankagama Government Central Dispensary and stretches over Gin River to the village of Nilaweligama, had been initially constructed in 2012 with the backing of the Neluwa Divisional Secretariat. At present, only two worn-out cables and remains of three broken concrete columns viz two on one bank and only one on the other bank of the river could be seen. Villagers and schoolchildren in Nilaweligama who attend the school in Lankagama risk their lives every day when crossing the river with the use of tattered cables.   

In 2017, under the ‘Rohana Udana’ project, the Southern Provincial Rural Development Ministry had released Rs. 461,250 to the Neluwa Divisional Secretary for the renovation of the broken bridge. Although an agreement was entered into with the Lankagama Rural Development Society for the restoration of the bridge, the project could not be implemented as the community participation was not received as expected.

Thereafter, again in 2018, a new estimate of Rs. 835,000 for the restoration of the shattered bridge was prepared out, of which Rs. 450,000 was agreed upon to be paid by the SP Rural Development Ministry, while the Neluwa Pradeshiya Sabha approved the remaining amount of   Rs. 385,000. Nevertheless, that scheme as well as another effort taken by the Sri Lanka Navy in the same year did not work.

The estimated cost of the new project is Rs. 11,363,292.19, which will be funded by the Southern Provincial Council following the instructions of the SP Governor.

The project is planned to be completed in six months. Yet in his speech at the inauguration of the project, the Governor said that he hoped to complete the project before six months and requested the contractor to expedite the work on the project.

Southern Province Chief Secretary R.C.D. Soyza, Galle District Secretary Somarathna Vidanapathirana, Southern Province Education Ministry Secretary Y. Wickramsekara, Provincial Commissioner of Social Welfare, Probation and Child Care Services Mahesh Karunanayake, Chief Ministry Secretary Saman Pandikorala, Governor’s Secretary Dileka Kudachchi,  Neluwa Divisional Secretary Chaturanga Gunasekara, Neluwa Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman M.I.G. Sunil and a number of officials from the Provincial Council participated.

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