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Monthly meeting of the Southern Provincial Council

Where is the promised hospital, swimming pool, asks JVP member

At the monthly meeting of the Southern Provincial Council held on Wednesday, JVP PC member Nalin Hewage faulted the Provincial administration for the failure to complete the construction work on the proposed 1000-bed hospital at Neluwa and the swimming pool at Richmond College, Galle.
“These two projects were launched with much fanfare several years ago. But both projects appear to have been abandoned by now,” the member charged. He said it was a crime to waste public funds on projects launched without proper pre-planning,” he said.
PC Chairman W. A. Somawansa presided when the Council met on Wednesday. Chief Minister Shan Wijelal de Silva, opposition leader Siri Wijewickrama and all other members were present.
Wijepala Hettiarachchi (UNP) recalled that the Richmond College Swimming Pool project was launched about five years ago and the Provincial Minister for Tourism at the time V. K. Indika had got Rs. 50 million sanctioned by the Financial Commission for the Swimming Pool project. “The project appears to have been abandoned now after spending Rs.30 million on it,” he pointed out.
Hettiarachchi said that the proposed Neluwa hospital project is at a standstill because they had picked a rocky terrain as the site for the proposed hospital. “The Council had decided to build the proposed hospital at a cost of Rs. 52.3 million. And Rs.21 million has already been spent on the operation to clear the site of rocks,” he added. Chief Minister Shan Wijelal de Silva said that former Provincial Minister Piyasena Gamage took the initiative to build the proposed hospital and he was not aware of the occurrence of a rocky layer underground.
Maithree Gunaratne (UNP) said that he had come to know of certain irregularities relating to the issue of driving licenses by the office of the Assistant Commissioner of Motor Traffic in Galle. Chairman Somawansa assured that inquiries into the alleged irregularities would be made with the view to punishing the culprits. He also announced that the Council will meet again at 9:30 a.m. on July 10. (NS/DP)