Another newly constructed road, built at an estimated cost of Rs. 40 million is breaking up, the Sunday Times learns.
The road in question is a stretch of 1.7 kilometres of the Hettipola – Chilaw road in the Panduwasnuwara Pradeshiya Sabha area of the Kurunegala district.
The issue of the high cost had been raised in Parliament and strong objections were raised by the UPFA-controlled local council, as the road conditions continued to deteriorate with villagers raising questions about the quality of the construction.
Panduwasnuwara Pradeshiya Sabha chairman Ranjith Upali said the local authority did not have anything to do with the road, adding that no permission was sought from the council.
“We had to display banners to inform the public that the council had no hand in the matter. The road was not widened, but only laid with stones and tarred over. The culverts were not repaired, and this has led to the deterioration of the road. This is daylight robbery and I have complained to the President,” he said.
He charged that with the amount of money spent more roads could have been repaired and the villagers could have been co-opted in to repair the roads thereby cutting down labour cost.
Kurunegala district UNP parliamentarian, Dayasiri Jayasekara said,“According to our information no feasibility reports were prepared and neither a technical study made prior to effecting the repairs. It is reported that the Pradeshiya Sabha was unaware of the construction and the road did not conform to standards as is clear from the dilapidated state the road is now in less than a year after it was repaired under the Maga Neguma project.
“The road is only 12feet wide and to repair such a road the maximum outlay would have been about Rs. 2.5 to three million and if the culverts too had been attended to it would have added upto about Rs eight million. But to say that the construction cost Rs. 40 million is a crime,” he said.
Highways Deputy Minister Nirmala Kothalawala told the Sunday Times that he had called for a report on the construction and it would be tabled in parliament.