Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran has slammed the Sri Lanka government for keeping him in the dark over the programme to build 65,000 houses in the North and East provinces.
Speaking to the Hindu, Wigneswaran expressed his frustration for being completely kept in the lurch and for the government’s failure to discuss matters pertaining to the construction of the houses.
“The dominating, domineering and hegemonic attitude on the part of the government is irking us. It is not to our benefit… It may have some benefits for the government because the government may be making use of our trials and tribulations, all the problems that we have undergone; all the suffering that we have undergone, the poverty that we are undergoing, they may be making use of us to get benefits from abroad. To what extent it is our beneficial to us in the long run is to be seen,” Wigneswaran said.
He emphasized that the government should have discussed the matter with him and other representatives of the Northern Province, instead of taking decisions in a manner where he and other people’s representatives in the North were kept in the dark. “No discussions were held,” he said.
Wigneswaran also added that the cost per house seemed extremely high, whereas he believes that for the cost of Rs. 21 million, they could build two to three houses. “Instead of 65,000, we can make 130,000 houses,” he added.
The government reportedly has awarded the contract to build the 65,000 houses to ArcelorMittal – an international company run by Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, despite opposition by the Northern Chief Minister and the Tamil National Alliance due to the high cost quoted for each house.