19 November, 2019

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Wigneswaran Slams Government Over 65,000 House Project

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.

Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran

Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran

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.

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Latest comments

  • 3
    0

    I give below a link with some details on the pre-fabricated sandwich panel houses being sold by China.

    http://vanjoin.en.alibaba.com/product/1378042186-213348908/Heat_Insulated_Prefab_Homes_for_Sri_Lanka.html

    They can come in many configurations and are sold by many countries. There are manufacturers of such housing in Sri Lanka too. The Arcelormittal housing would in essence would be the same in essence.

    Further, I had stated in another lead that I had lived in such a luxury house for about ten years in Saudi Arabia and because of the high temperatures and frequent sand storms they had permanently closed curtained Windows. Air conditioners were of course needed there. in Sri Lanka the Windows could be large and kept open for better ventilation. Of course security considerations would requite that metal grills be fitted to the Windows. Shade trees could be planted around the houses to cool the winds that blow in.

    I do not agree with the NP governors statement that has appeared in the press today that the facilties like the free gas cylinder, solar panels , WiFi and such be not included, although he has no objections to the houses per se. However, I will agree with his suggestion that they be provided in a mix of designs-may be three, to provide some variety in the landscape .

    Dr.RN

    • 1
      1

      The funding agency has a say.
      The government has a say (hopefully).
      The supplier has a say.
      The NPC wants to have a say.

      Can the potential occupant have a say?

      • 3
        0

        SJ,

        Streams of people have streamed into Kopay to see and inspect the model house set up there. Further, there are three times as many applicants as the 65, 000 houses to be constructed. There is also much discussion about these houses in the community.

        Dr.RN

      • 1
        1

        The key question is
        “Will they have a say?”

        I saw a sound analysis titled “Building 65,000 houses and the economics of reconstruction” in Daily FT, 5th April 2016, accessible at

        http://www.ft.lk/article/534700/Building-65-000-houses-and-the-economics-of-reconstruction#sthash.EcUib9On.dpuf

    • 1
      0

      Dr.RN,

      Thank you for telling what the portable houses are and some scientific data by the reference. Many commentators talking without knowing. They including Wigeswaran are trying to deprive poor people of good houses.

  • 6
    2

    Rajasingham, are you a structural engineer or in what profession you did PHD. If you did PHD in law cost houses, then I like to discuss with you otherwise I do not have time to waste. This is the main problem with Asians – they firmly talk about subjects in which they are not experts. I am a structural Engineer , and I think for various reasons , these houses are not suitable for North & East and CV is correct. You are talking about AC for poor people struggle for daily food and where electricity is a problem. Saudi Arabia – oil money , spent on unwanted weapons – please do not compare countries not comparable to srilanka. Please do not comment about a person close to God – this is my opinion.

  • 3
    1

    SJ, thank you for the link- excellent article. Pre- fabricated houses are good for quick assembly. The prime aim of any good government is to increase public spending to create employment and keep people occupied without diverting their free time in protests etc.. Now first priority is to create employment to affected North and East people. If there is not enough workers, then bring people from south. These houses are not complicated like high rise towers which need expert contractors. These houses can be built by one experienced builder (mesthiry) and many unskilled labourers which will provide long term livelihood to those poor people. Steel buildings are very hot, need maintenance every after say 5-10 years, steel pre-fabricated cabins are suitable to use as site office for large projects – assemble quickly and dismantle at the end of the project.

  • 1
    1

    Cost of 21 million rupees is too much for a house, i think we borrow money (may be forced to borrow) so we have to be stuck with this crap prefab houses.

    Well you can build a solid decent house for 2 million in Sri Lanka! by applying engineering principles like prefab concrete, cost effective designing!

    If we had money, this project could reinvigorate the economy of the whole district by using local suppliers, labor and materials!
    Could save lot of foreign revenue too!
    I still think we have high caliber Sri Lankan construction companies that can pull this project out!

    • 0
      0

      It is 2.1 million per house, Now is it also too expensive?

  • 0
    0

    Srinath.
    It is absolutely essential when you get into a debate,the difference between Rs:21 Million and Rs:21 Lackhs; ie:Rs.2:1 Million should be clearly understood!

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