Business Times

Large part of A9 highway to Jaffna re-constructed by local engineers

By Quintus Perera

The government has softened its attitude towards local construction firms with regard to awarding major construction contracts with foreign contractors being asked to offer sub-contracts to local construction contractors, officials at a major constructio and engineering firm said.

M.G. Kularatne, Chairman/Managing Director, Maga Engineering (Pvt) Ltd – one of Sri Lanka’s biggest construction firms - told the Business Times that due to this change of attitude of the government, out of the 153 km of construction of the A9 road awarded to a Chinese firm 103 km was subcontracted to his firm.

He said this on the sidelines of press conference in Colombo this week held to announce Maga obtaining the ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certification from the Sri Lanka Standards Institute.
He said that they are now involved in major construction projects like the Sri Lanka Customs headquarters costing Rs 3.2 billion and Sethsiripaya Stage ll – a 13 storied building.

While the local construction companies continue to agitate against government awarding major construction projects to foreign construction companies, Mr Kularatne pointed out that some of these foreign construction companies come with foreign funds.

Asoka De Silva, Director, Engineering, Maga during the press conference said that in 2009, Maga received the Gold rating in Sri Lanka’s ever Corporate Accountability Index formulated by Sting Consultants. In 2010 he said that they received Platinum Rating and the No.3 rating in the country. Currently the company maintains a B level of disclosure in sustainability reporting under the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative.

He said that in January 2010 the company decided to seek ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certification for its HSE systems. He said that after the compliance audit in March 2010 the management system was implemented at project and activity centres from April 2010. In September 2010 the system was subjected to external auditing. On 19th November 2010 Maga’s HSE system was certified to be in compliance with ISO 14001-2004 and OHSAS 18001-2007 International Standards.

He said that Maga expanded its wings in roads, bridges and water supply sectors. In 2002 it received the International Federation of Asian and Western Pacific Contractors Association’s Gold Medal for the construction of Apollo Hospital.

He said that Maga entered into joint ventures with several local and international contractors to carry out large scale infrastructure development projects and has ventured into design-and-build projects, including the award winning 32-storey Fairmount residencies, the 68 km Siyambalanduwa-Potuvil-Akkaraipattu Road and the 153 km Matara-Wellawaya road, completed two months ahead of schedule, winning the accolades of its funding agent, European Union.

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