Ports and Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranatunga today instructed officials to come up with a strategic plan in collaboration with the private sector to manage and maintain the Galle Face Green (GFG) without any cost to the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA).
Minister Ranatunga added that the maintenance and operation of the Galle Face Green (GFG) has cost the SLPA Rs. 3.3 million in 2014 without any dividend.
The monthly progressive assessment meeting of the Ports and Shipping Ministry was held yesterday chaired by Minister Ranatunga.
Officials informed the Minister that the misdeeds and mismanagement of the GFG by the SLPA has made an opening to certain officials to misuse SLPA resources and also to treat outsiders using SLPA assets.
They pointed out that maintenance and operations of the GFG has been first carried out by the Urban Development Authority (UDA) and later handed the task over to the government affiliated Sri Lanka Nidahas Sevaka Sangamaya. Ultimately the job was given to the SLPA.
However, the SLPA has failed to generate income properly from the GFG by way of vehicle parking fees and trade stalls. It was also revealed that there had been the misuse of this facility by the SLPA. Minister Ranatunga taking into account of all these lapses ordered to stop charging of vehicles for parking at the GFG in April.
“I have watched how outsiders collect parking fees from vehicle owners without any authority. They do not send these collections to the SLPA. That is why I put a stop to this and I am extremely happy that motorists had a big relief during the festive season as they were able to park their vehicles at the GFG free of charge,” Minister Ranatunga said. (Sandun A Jayasekera)