Ranil and Highways
Posted on August 2nd, 2015

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha

Second instalment of roadscam, you might like also to question the Secretary who was suddenly dismissed, Mr Udaya Seneviratne, and perhaps the Chinese Embassy too about the earlier and curent projects, since the Prime Minister claims that the EXIM Bank of China will be funding this project too

Dealings of the current government with the Metallurgical Corporation of China are very strange indeed. It was with regard to this company that the President’s manifesto claimed that ‘ If a total of Rs. 7.3 billion is spent per kilometre on the construction of the Kadawata – Kerawalapitiya highway, the amount pilfered is Rs. 5.2 billion.

’Kabir Hashim’s memorandum to Cabinet in April 2015 declared that the contract had been awarded in January 2013 for Rs 66 billion, for 9.32 kilometres. He recommended that the scope of the highway be changed

  • To construct the expressway with 4 lanes (abandoning the provision to widen to 6 in the future)
  • To reduce the length of viaducts
  • To reduce the height of viaducts

The Memorandum says there could be a substantial saving, but it does not say what this would be. The report on the subject, dated, March 23rd, indicated that, with several changes to the scope (including the omission of one proposed interchange) the contract should cost Rs 41 billion. It also suggested a reduction of 25 per cent in rates.

This last point is non mentioned in the Minister’s memorandum. Certainly the report and his Memorandum make a nonsense of the claim that the contract should have been for less than 20 billion.

Then matters get more curious. On March 30th the Prime Minster submitted a note to the Cabinet to say that ‘Unsolicited proposals in general should not be accepted as a matter of policy. In the future, all proposals should follow the Guidelines on Government Tender Procedure issued in 1998’. However there was provision for the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Economic Affairs to review the ’35 unsolicited proposals’ now in the pipeline and report.

This Sub-Committee at a meeting on June 30 gave instructions to submit information at the next meeting to decide on contractors for each stage of what is now termed the Central Highway. Less than a week later the Prime Minister prepared a Cabinet paper in which he said that ‘The government had already agreed that they (MCC) should utilize the savings in OCH3 to undertake construction of a few kilometres on the first section of expressway from Kadawata where the OCH3 terminates’.

The Cabinet Paper does not mention the amount of the savings. There is no indication of when or why the government had agreed to these terms with MCC. All this suggests that, far from acting on the assertion in the Manifesto that the Kadawata Kerawaapitiya Highway was a source of massive commissions to the last government, the new government was determined without following tender procedures, to award yet another contract to this same company.

Next I will look at the manner in which rates were agreed on for this unsolicited bid. Meanwhile the Secretary to the Ministry who had prepared the frameworks for competitive bidding, and who had been touted as a very honest man, handpicked for the job (the Ministry initially included Higher Education too) was summarily dismissed.

There is clearly no commitment to Transparency, Accountability and Good Governance as far as the Prime Minister and his chosen instrument of fundraising, the Ministry of Highways (involved also in pressurizing the Central Bank before the Bond Scam) are concerned.

2 Responses to “Ranil and Highways”

  1. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    Their motorways reminds me a famous Sinhalese saying ‘waduran geval hadanawa wage’. Every time it starts to rain monkey tells his wife, darling I will builda house for us to keep dry. Soon as the rain stopped, house is gone of his mind.

    These tom pachayin never built an inch of motorways in the last 75 years. Only election time comes, they become like
    that monkey and promise moon and the earth. They know there are a lot of stupid Sinahalese who think it is fashionable to be this UNPatriotic party (UNP) supporters. So they play on those gullible peoples’ mind and get into power and plunder the country. You don’t have to believe, you have seen the results in just 6 months!

    The UNPatriotic party (UNP) good at only

    They are masters of these. We have to thank those Sinhalese (Asinhalese) supporting these murderous, treacherous, thieving and lying gang for so long. This time it will be the last time, Sri Lanka going to be unitary state if these treacherous gang get into power!

  2. charithsls Says:

    Rajiv, Do not forget you’ve a great responsibility to take these to the social media & to NGO machine. The victory MS gained in January,we most know was due to their wide publicity campaign & MR came a cropper there then. Do not repeat the same mistake again. You are in a very enviable position as an elite figure who can take a lead role for MR with other stalwarts like Nalin,Sarath & Dayan etc in the English medium where MR has less success. And don’t forget, your role is much more important to take a good slice of Christian voters who are always against MR due to mistaken priorities

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