By Rusiripala Tennakoon –
The Colombo Municipality has entered a new lease of life following the last election. The city was under the administrative control of an appointed Commissioner for a period of nearly two years following its dissolution in 2016. The new term is under the first Lady to be appointed as a Mayor.
As against a 60 Seats UNP all other parties share a total of 59 seats in a 119 seat council.
Despite the slender margin the affairs of the Council have shown a smooth flow with the non-UNP members co-operating with the ruling party. Several members emphasized the need for a united term of office with no frictions for the well-being of the city population. After a long spell of dormancy in the field of implementing policy decisions, the city needs a concerted approach to deal with a multitude of problems faced by the public delayed for want of new policy directions. It is therefore a welcome move by the councilors to work in a dedicated manner to achieve this objective.
The political composition of the council is as follows:
The new leadership is over burdened with several routine issues arisen due to the increase in the number of councilors to 119 and right now their involvement is mostly on mundane affairs to provide the required facilities. As this is the beginning of the term of office the Council will have to plan out the strategies to deal with matters requiring time for formulation of policies on broader issues concerning the enhancement of services and city facilities. Where the Council has to get expert recommendation based on research and survey such matters will have to be addressed immediately to provide sufficient time for the determinations and conclusion.
The Council members have a responsibility to address these issues in a constructive manner to deliver the best result for the people. With this in view and as an indication of the co-operation towards such an objective, the UPFA members have submitted some motions to the General Meeting of the Council as a start.
In formulating these attention was paid to areas where studies and surveys have to precede the policy formulation and the chosen areas are related to burning issues causing hardships to the public in general.
Notice has been given on four Motions to be taken up :
Motion No. 1 – “Taking note of the 6 Districts Units already established and the need to enhance these services to cover a wider range of activities with facilities to collect revenue and provide opportunities for public interactions it is proposed that the Council considers the de-centralization of public service activities to a possible extent in pursuance of the objectives of protection and promotion of the comfort, convenience and welfare of the people and the amenities of the Municipality as provided for under Section 4 of the ordinance”.
Motion No. 2 – With a view to facilitate the free movement of vehicles without causing un-necessary traffic congestions in all roads and streets within the municipal limits, it is proposed that the Council appoints a Committee of competent persons with the expertise and knowledge on the subject, to study and recommend steps that could be enforced by the Municipality, subject to any prohibition or restriction imposed by any other law, to alleviate the hardships experienced by the public.
It is also proposed that this Committee be given a specific time frame within which a report with necessary recommendations be submitted after a comprehensive study of the issues. Powers under Sections 63, 40(ii) (w), 46(e) and (f) referred.
Motion No. 3 – In order to keep pace with the rapid expansion of activities and Mega Development projects as planned by the Central Government, it is proposed that the Council effectively implement the provisions under Section 247D of the Ordinance, and direct the administration to inspect and report on all un-developed properties within the Municipal limits within a stipulated period of time under proper terms of reference, to enable the Council to decide on an appropriate action plan for such properties
Motion 4 – Considering the need for providing recreation and entertainment to the middle and lower income groups of the society, it is proposed that the Council to initially revive the programmes such as Musical Shows that were held in the past at the open air theatre with affordable entry fees and transport facilities.
The local artists and particularly the aspiring young population in the field of music and arts will benefit under these programmes in addition to the entertainment provided to public.
As the hub of activity, the largest city and the financial centre, Colombo has to undergo a complete face lift to make it an attractive place. The city engulfs one of the busiest ports in Asia. We have very valuable historical monumental architectures and several natural resources which we can project and develop.
The CMC has a big role to play. We have to sink all petty differences and work towards one goal. That is to do the part of duty that the Council has to perform in bringing about the expected changes in a planned manner.
nalmen / April 28, 2018
the CMC is the most corrupt instituition in the country
you cannot get any document without paying a bribe unless you visit the CMC time after time
reducing corruption should be the councillors first objective, others can follow
Steve / April 28, 2018
What does it cost annually to have a 119 seat council and running the Colombo Municipality ?. What do they actually do on a daily basis? What does the ordinary citizen get back in return ?. What the new Mayor and team can deliver only time will tell.
nagavitharana / April 28, 2018
dehiwela municipalty is no better
money has to be paid for any approvals related to construction of buildings etc if not the file will not move
even on the collection of garbage Rs 100/= is demanded monthly by the workers manning the garbage trucks .Further in case for example you need to dispose a banana tree or something similar they demand big sums to dispose same
Paul / April 28, 2018
All this corruption starts at the top with Sirisena & family. They have not managed to match the Rajapakses yet but they are doing their best. How can we expect more than that?
Eagle Eye / April 28, 2018
During election campaigns, UNP guys went around saying Mattala airport, Hambantota port, Port city are white elephants created by Rajapakse regime. They are not white elephants. The problem is the idiots in this Government do not know how to manage them. The real white elephants in Sri Lanka are Provincial Councils and Local Councils with lot of idiots draining public funds without adequate returns for the money tax payers pay.
Jim softy / April 28, 2018
I read and compared the NEwyork city council with the Colombo. colombo has 119 and New york has 51 members for 51 localities. It looks municipality taking over entertainment, it is to bring their UNP -artitsts (Naly batto and niliyo) and they will pay millions for the contract. What a way to lose money. I heard there is a group of artitists in Nugegoda area who are all from Born again christians. Mahinda Rajapakse also had similar programs to write songs, to have musical shows before his show ups. How old the colombo municipality is, they still do not know what lands are not used. I heard the municipality wants to acquire some lands of milton mallawarchchi. Is Rosie’s husband an artist. does rOsie have any plans to build a Born against church.
Steve / April 29, 2018
A bloated Cabinet, a bloated Colombo Municipal Council (inherited by the Evangelists), and the same all over the country. Who pays for all this lunacy and bureaucracy ? Justified if they can deliver results to the people, however, results are almost zero.
raman / April 29, 2018
“Is Rosie’s husband an artist. does rOsie have any plans to build a Born against church.”
You seem to know a lot about New York, but you don’t know that over 70% of Colombo is non-Buddhist. So Rosie can build even mosques or churches if she wants.
Jim softy / April 29, 2018
Very Smart RAMAN: Not only that, ROSIE will provide employment and lot of money to her belloveds too. Wait for the results.
K.Pillai / April 28, 2018
LG was there to address local issues.
CMC worked well when national politics was not part of LG. Now politics has found its way in.
CMC has become a horse-trading stable to serve the elites.
LG is being buggered.
wimal / April 30, 2018
Very simple things to be implement for the sake of people. 1. Clear the whole pavements for pedestrians without disturbance. Rebuild with correct breath of it. Remove all sweep ticket sellers from the pavement. No
Special three wheel parks. Car parks for city users and not for three wheelers.Taxis should move always if not call taxis should be available. All buses should close their door before start moving, if not drivers should be charged. getting down passengers without bus halts is a main problem for road blocks. Traffic wardens should be employed at the junctions by the CMC to control traffic like China. All the enchrochment of the payment by who ever should be cleared. Parking can be charged only in the car parks. Road side parking can be charged only by CMC and not by others. garbage cleaning should be done under the private company and not by direct labour of CMC.
Rusiri / May 5, 2018
This is the type of intervention and comments I expected
Not merely talking about corruption always
Thank you again for your public interest