The Sunday Leader

Billions Busted On RDA Office

By Nirmala Kannangara

The former regime under Mahinda Rajapaksa had spent over 2.4 billion (Rs. 2,488,538,628.06) to construct a luxurious head office complex for the Road Development Authority (RDA) in Pelawatte.

The RDA comes under the purview of the Highways Ministry and Mahinda Rajapaksa was the subject minister until the fall of his regime on January 8.

“Although the RDA was housed in a spacious section in Sethsiripaya, what made Rajapaksa to spend lavishly on this luxurious building when there were many burning issues in the country,” RDA sources said. However, the present Minister of Highways, Kabir Hashim says that it was surprising as to how much the previous regime had spent on one building when this money could have been used to build houses for the homeless.

“Unfortunately, the tax payers’ money had been spent on unnecessary projects when this money could have been utilized to provide houses for the homeless. As this is a huge and luxurious building, the minister is looking out for options to rent out part of the building and the income could be utilized for a worthy cause,” a ministry communiqué said.

The Sunday Leader is in possession of the document which details the breakdown of construction expenses of this luxury building, where Rajapaksa, as the subject minister, was to have his office. According to the detailed bill Rs. 2,034.095 million had been spent on contract payments to Nawaloka, while the Urban Development Authority (UDA) charge for the project were Rs. 6.825 million.

“Another Rs. 69.058 million had been paid to purchase assets according to the bill and Rs. 3.378 lakhs for the Kaduwela Municipal Council. To supply and to plant flower plants and Malaysian grass, it had cost Rs. 2.65 lakhs and to supply and install paving blocks, another Rs. 7.60 lakhs had been spent,” sources added.

According to the cost details, to lay the foundation stone and plaque for the opening ceremony Rs. 4.575 million had been spent and another Rs. 80.729 million had been spent as the Consultancy fee for the University of Moratuwa. As security deposit and connection charges for the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), Rs. 6.219 million had been spent.

The security deposit for piped water connection to the National Water Supply and Drainage Board was Rs.1 million and for the Central Environmental Authority, Rs. 11,424 had been spent.

“Interior timber partitioning and flooring works in Level 10 had cost yet Rs. 38.732 million and for interior partitioning for other levels, another Rs. 24.677 million had been spent. For the partitioning, ceiling and furniture works related to interior fittings, another Rs. 200.378 million had been spent and Rs. 2.96 lakhs had been paid to install a water pump,” sources claimed.

Meanwhile, Rs. 4.934 had been spent for electricity, water and security while advertisements for security and interior works, another Rs. 1.39 lakhs had been spent and Rs. 2.35 lakhs for administrative expenses while Rs. 7.267 million had been spent to lay the foundation stone and the opening ceremony.

“The total cost paid up to June 15, 2015 is Rs. 2,488.538 million and a few more floors have to be completed and it will cost more to the government. According to the detailed bill, Rs. 4.575 million has been spent to lay the foundation stone and plaque for the opening ceremony and another Rs. 7.267 million had been paid to lay the foundation stone and for the opening ceremony. As payments have been paid twice for the same purpose, it is up to the government auditors to check whether they have put two bills for the same purpose,” sources said.

8 Comments for “Billions Busted On RDA Office”

  1. P.B.Herat

    Billions busted for that office but to date some of the poor citizens whose valuable lands were forcibly acquired for road expansion, without following proper acquisition procedures, have not been paid compensation nor their letters even acknowledged.

  2. gamarala

    Costly unwanted projects meant more ‘kickbacks’ from contractors.
    This is why the megalomaniac projects which have indebted the nation for decades to come.
    Those who became rich by ‘crumbs off the table’ now want the same set of rogues to come back to power.

  3. asoka seneviratne

    This must be the “Miracle of Asia” My foot !

  4. K.J.Wanniarachchi

    RDA was established in 1986 after the abolishing of the Dept. of Highways. Its head office was since functioning in Sethsiripaya which belonged to the UDA, while paying an exorbitant rental to UDA.

    RDA management was lethargic in having its own head office complex while other State sector organisation which came into existence after RDA were able to build their own office complexes.

    There is nothing wrong for RDA to have its own Building as they were housed in other’s buildings since 1986, where the building is built in a limited extent of land.

    Denzil Kobbekaduwa Mawatha(Athula Mawatha) was non existing in 1986. RDA were not able to have a bigger extent of land while being in Battaramulla since1986, when the present location was a marshy scrub jungle

    • chulan

      Issue in not about building a office , but the cost, MR time they dont think of the return from the investment they keen of comm %.

  5. mr Rajapaska was involved in racket and swindle the tax money and earn commission. in millions. in foreign banks. he was called for bribery ,commission .CID office they were grilled.why mr Rajapaska was allowed to contest election.

  6. bank west

    cannot believe some people are still making things up every sad. Mahinda is the greatest ,no body cannot change that . he will win this time hands down. Thanks for saving are country. we have the freedom that’s priceless. we are a true king.

  7. david strange

    looks like the “sunday leader has turned a new leaf”?? When were stuff such as this reported under the previous government.

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