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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 107

Sri Lanka: Road Development Authority conceded 98 percent of the country’s roads are in bad shape

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

Colombo, 10 May, (Asiantribune.com): The factors leading to massive number of road accidents deaths and loss of property and major inundation of roads is now attributed to utterly improper planning of road construction. It is now evident that road constructions are planned without adequate provision for drainage or pavements for pedestrians.

M B S Fernando, Chairman, Road Development Authority conceded that 98 percent of the country’s roads are in bad shape suggesting that due to this fact there would be 2,500 road deaths per annum which would be more than the death toll due to the ethnic conflict.

He was speaking at the Press Briefing of the Chamber of Construction Industry of Sri Lanka (CCI) held at Galle Face Hotel to announce the holding of Excon 2007 – the annual trade fair of the CCI which commence on Friday 11th and end today Sunday 13th at the BMICH.

This year’s theme of Excon 2007 is to build capacities by promoting linkages among the industry stakeholders as CCI believes that domestic construction industry capacity building should necessarily include promotion of larger companies to undertake overseas construction projects while, SME Sector of the industry which accounts for more than 80 percent should be encouraged to form consortiums, establish joint ventures and look at mergers and acquisitions.

At this Press Briefing CCI has arranged the representatives of the sponsors to address the media on their areas of interest.

Fernando continuing said that about 10 years ago the road construction industry in the country was in the hands of the Government, but today the conditions are different. Today there are more than 50 private sector contractors involved in the road construction industry.

He said that there are contractors who could even compete with the international contractors and for the first time one contractors has won a contract for Rs 4 1/2 billion.

He said that he did not prefer super highways constructed in the country as more the super highways more the speed fiends and more the speed fiends more the accidents and death toll.

His revealing of the stark realities of the heavy death toll on the roads due to bad shape of the roads also suggests that important basic requirements of road construction are ignored and neglected such as proper pavements for the pedestrians and drainage.

He also conceded that large portion of roads are maintained by the local authorities and they maintain those roads with the rate payers money, which is inadequate whereas though the RDA handles less roads that are getting enormous funding from various international funding agencies and thus the roads RDA maintains are better than those maintained by the local authorities.

He said that out of the 100,000 kilometers of roads they maintain only 11,000 kilometers.

He pointed out that private vehicles which transport only one or two occupants take much road space whereas large vehicles like buses take a large number and therefore everybody must have to be encouraged to use public transport so that less road space would be used.

He added public servants like them who are provided with free transport with vehicles are also part of those who use road space as in their vehicles too only one or two are traveling. and the government spends nearly Rs 75,000 per month for fuel and maintenance of such vehicles. Therefore he suggested that the government could pay an allowance of around Rs 50,000 for such public servants, so that those recipients could use part of that allowance for other family and private matters.

Dakshitha thalgodapitiya, CEO/SG, CCI explained in detail about the Excon 2007 and what benefits it would derive to the construction industry and for the economic development of the country as a whole.

- Asian Tribune -

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