Jan 24, 2021

District committee members complain about Johnston's delay Featured

It is reported that the District Coordinating Committee members informed President Gotabaya Rajapaksa that although a year had elapsed since the programme to repair rural roads had commenced, contractors are yet to commence work.

It has been alleged that apart from Minister of Highways Johnston Fernando conducting observation tours and publishing them in the media, they are yet to carry out the actual construction work.

It was also revealed that the contractors tasked with the project had also obtained a 20% of their pay as a payment in advance.

In addition to the programme to carpeting 100,000 km of roads, work on the road commenced after the 2019 Presidential election victory, is yet to be completed, reports add.

It is said that the people in many districts including Badulla, Polonnaruwa and Monaragala are severely inconvenienced due to the unfinished road repair work.

Villagers have also pointed out that open drains as well as mounds of gravel and stone on the roadsides for the repairs, commonly lead to accidents as well, the District Committee members have further said.

Meanwhile, Polonnaruwa District Coordinating Committee Chairman Amarakeerthi Athukorala has told the 'Aruna' newspaper that the 7.5km-long Jayasiripura-Sarubima road in Polonnaruwa, where the project was initiated, is yet to be completed.

Minister of Highways Johnston Fernando himself has been cited as saying at a progress meeting on the Eastern Province's I-Road project that over 1.5 years will be needed to finish roads which are barely a kilometre long.

News First had reported the delay as follows :