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31 shops have been built in the area reserved for the public

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It was revealed at the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) that 31 persons have been given permission to construct 31 shops at private expense in the vacant space reserved for passengers at the Kurunegala bus stand.

The aforesaid was disclosed at the COPA Committee held recently (10) in Parliament chaired by the Hon. State Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara. The COPA Committee Chairman is Hon. Member of Parliament (Prof.) Tissa Vitarana.

Although the Municipal Council has defined these constructions as a means of economic generation, it was revealed that this would hamper the public interest.   It was also revealed that the construction had been carried out outside the original plan for the bus stand and that the shops had been handed over to 31 people without proper procedures.

Furthermore, the construction of the Kurunegala Central Market has exceeded the estimate of the Engineering Estimates of the Municipal Council which is 41% awarding contracts to the bidder who submitted a sum of Rs. 281,934,447was also taken into discussion. In particular, when discussing this issue, it was revealed that the first engineering estimate prepared, had not been prepared correctly. It was confirmed that all the requirements for the building had not been taken into consideration. Accordingly, it was discussed that this work carried out by the Municipal Council in good faith was misunderstood by the Department of Engineering for not preparing an accurate estimate.

Therefore, the COPA Committee recommended that action be taken against the officials of the Engineering Department who prepared the estimate in this regard. In addition, two estimates regarding the concreting of the Illuppugedara road were discussed. The COPA Committee also focused on the purchase of Polysac bags from a counterfeit company. There was also a lengthy discussion on the provision of 123 stalls under construction in Phase 1 and 2 of the Central Market and 12 stalls in Maligapitiya under the long-term lease system without proper methodology. Accordingly, it was disclosed that action has been taken to lease the shops to the first buyer without any transparency to an estimate decided by the House. However, the Mayor of the Kurunegala Municipal Council says that they have acted in accordance with the relevant regulations.

State Ministers Lasantha Alagiyawanna and Shehan Semasinghe, Members of Parliament Ashok Abeysinghe, Gunapala Rathnasekara, Cader Mastan, Weerasumana Weerasinghe and (Dr.) Upul Galappaththi were present at the meeting held.

Friday, November 12, 2021 – 13:22

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