17 June, 2021

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North And East 65,000 Housing Project: Group Of Professionals Want Govt. Re-Tendering To Be Unbiased And Transparent

A multi-disciplinary group of professionals from across the country has urged the Government to expedite the process of retendering the project to build 65,000 houses in the North and East, while underscoring the need for the re-tendering to be carried out in an unbiased and transparent manner.

D.M. Swaminathan -

D.M. Swaminathan – Minister of Resettlement

The statement signed by Ahilan Kadirgamar, Piyal Ganepola, Chandra Jayaratne, Prof. Priyan Dias, S.C.C. Elankovan, Ramona Miranda, Iromi Perera, Arch. Sumangala Jayatillaka, Niyanthini Kadirgamar and Swasthika Arulingam said, “We call on the government to expedite the process of retendering but do so in an unbiased and transparent manner that is in strict conformity with the procedures prescribed. It is especially important that the project is re-designed keeping the interests of the people and communities at the centre and ensures their substantive and meaningful participation and maximizes value for the local, provincial and national economy.”

“For almost a year now a move by the Ministry of Resettlement to award a contract for 65,000 pre-fabricated steel houses for war-affected households to the multinational ArcelorMittal has raised many serious questions and public debate. Regrettably, despite the wide spectrum of concerns by a cross-section of voices, the government did not expeditiously review the project. Thus lengthening the wait of thousands of war-affected households for adequate housing,” the statement said.

Quoting recent media reports, the group said that the government has decided to re-tender the project entirely breaking it up to smaller components. “If confirmed, this move is belated but necessary. This would be meaningful and welcome only if the retendered project is redesigned so as to be rooted in principles of equity, community ownership, participation and social mobilisation and strengthen communities and the local economy. Moreover, it must rely on mobilisation of domestic financing and industry, use of locally appropriate/adaptable materials, technologies and labour, and, ensure socio-culturally appropriate houses,” the statement said.

The group called on independent and like-minded individual and groups as well as the media to continue to pay attention to this important initiative and ensure it is designed, planned, tendered, implemented and monitored so as to deliver just and meaningful outcomes for some of the country’s most vulnerable communities.

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    D.M. Swaminathan – Minister of Resettlement

    RE: North And East 65,000 Housing Project: Group Of Professionals Want Govt. Re-Tendering To Be Unbiased And Transparent

    Was it ever transparent and unbiased?

    This is the time for a fresh start.

    You, certainly do not want to be accused like the Gon Gamarala and hos son Gob Daham.

  • 5
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    to build locally where is the local raw material coming from??

    where are the electricity water and drainage services?

    OR are these once again garden sheds/beach huts for the waadiya tourism.

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    This is a welcome sign.We expect leading professionals’ associations in the country such as GMOA, EGSL, BASL, FUTA, ACCA, APB etc; individually or through an umbrella organisation OPA, to air their views, on issues of this nature which are of national importance.
    Not only politicians, even professionals are responsible for the sorry plight and escalation of corruption due to their selfish agendas. One such body GMOA has earned the wrath of the people due to their selfish attitude.
    What is needed is without politically aligning them towards Government or Opposition help to create a strong public opinion in necessary instances, which the Government cannot ignore. Mithrasinghe

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    IT is better the duly elected peoples’ representatives and professionals from the North are made part of the decision making. If that happens Government will not be blamed in the event houses are found to be unsuitable or sub standard. There are many large and medium scale local construction companies who could be relied upon to provide a quality product. The companies which are successful bidders should source man power resources from the Province unless that there is a unavailability of certain skilled categories.
    Government can build trust and real peace by following a prudent path. Ranasinghe

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    If Government bungle this exercise they cannot expect Northern politicians to support the Government in the future. Ranjith

  • 0
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    Swaminathan is asking for a bribe that even Mittal can’t pay !

    • 2
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      aiyo your genes never had – servitude.

  • 3
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    This charity http://www.theimho.org/donation/support-sampoor-resettled-families is building small houses costing $1,000 each.

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    I don’t think there was ever an instance of this Minister asking or receiving a Bribe. What is attributable to him in this article is that he is pushing for a re-tendering for this project in a transparent and structured way where all Govt/ Private Contractors can tender for this Project.
    His Ministry will obviously drive the project, but he needs to do it as quickly as possible as it has seen a lot of foot dragging up to now.
    The group of Professionals who are urging the Minister to expedite the matter appear above board and must ensure the transparency and unbiased standards they are pushing for is sustained to the end

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    I go along with those calling for re-tendering, but also like to ensure that the process goes a step further to resolve the main issue of appropriateness of the types of housing before tenders are even considered.

    There of certain categories of housing that are not acceptable to the local context.

    The ‘beneficiaries’ should have a bigger say than the best of ‘experts’ and even more than any government minister.

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    The minister is not the type of person who will take or look for bribes.
    But he is inexperienced and tends to lend an ear to bad advisers who surround him and is impulsive when it comes to taking decisions. That is his problem.
    I think he should at least have the backbone to arrange a meeting with the signatories who have urged him in retendering consider the utilisation of local talent and materials in the building industry.
    That strategy will be meaningful and be of help to the island’s economy as well.
    If foreign judges are not good to investigate human rights abuses in the country and only local judges should investigate, then why not extend the same principle when it comes o building homes for the war displaced Lankan people as well?

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    My dear friends, never ever even 100 Sri Lankan construction companies would built 65000 houses in their life time. By the time they built so much houses, most of the receipients would be dead and gone for good. It’s good to give it to large foreign companies who have the money and muscle to do it. During the Shah’s time, I knew there were some Sri Lankans who worked in a British company which had the contract to built houses for the Iranian Navy – 5000 houses – they were building over 200 houses per day. One side they were building and other side people were moving into new houses on daily basis, fully furnished with water, electricity and landscaping.

    So friends don’t play with the life of these long suffering people, they need these houses immediately to rebuild their lives.

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    In the above housing site the British company set up a prefabrication plant. There were separate teams to clear and make the make sites, fix walls, roofs, finishing work, water, electricity and landscaping as well as access roads. Each cluster of houses had their own school, medical clinic, play ground, community and recreation buildings along with crèche and nursery for the kids of working mothers. Workers were mostly from Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and Philippines.

  • 1
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    Rs.1,000,000 x 65,000 = Rs 65,000,000,000

    Multi deciplinary group of “professional suckers ” in the Country want the
    Govt to re-tender the project to build 65,000 houses so that they too have
    their share in the loot….

    They also want it to be transparent ….hik..hik..hik…

  • 0
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    65,000 houses…@ min of Rs.1,000,000 per house = Rs 65,000,000,000 (Rs 65.0 bn)
    Ideally the houses should be built to complete in 6 months considering the circumstances the people lost their houses…and such construction require 1,000,000 workers with a min of 15 workers per house….provided they work 24 hrs.

    Sri Lanka do not have such a massive skilled workforce besides the required local materials for construction ….

    SL can employ only a max of 25,000 workers and they work 24 hrs x 365 days..they might construct 1,000 houses per year …and this whole project would take 65 years to complete….

    TWO GENERATIONS GONE….

    A project of this nature should ideally be completed at least within 5 years to achieve its true purpose by the needy and sincerely at present such massive projects cannot be handled by SL….besides these are not commercial projects..

    Look at Hambantota Port…..it took 5 years to complete with a massive labour force of 50,000 Chinese working 24 hrs.. The professional suckers should have requested the then Govt for transparency because it was a Commercial Project..

    COULD WE HAVE HANDLED IT..

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