Defence HQ constructions halted

16 March 2015 07:36 pm - 37     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Construction work on the Defence Headquarters Complex in Battaramulla has come to a halt due to non-availability of funds, and Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake saying funds will not be released until the exact cost estimation of the project is clarified.

Minister Karunanayake told the Daily Mirror that the necessary funds were available but it would not be released until a conclusion was reached on the amount of finances the project would involve.

“What exactly is the cost of the entire project? Where is the cabinet approval for the costing? The exact costing of the project is not mentioned in any of the documents available on the project. In one document it states a portion of 2.5% off the total cost which is Rs. 50 billion is commissioned to the architectural firm involved with it. These figures need probing - these are questions that need to be answered before the funds are released,” he said. 

The funds contained in the irregular Defence Ministry account –finances collected through CATIC and Shangri-La deals – that was highlighted by Minister Karunanayake himself, were reserved for the construction expenses of the Defence Headquarters.

“As a responsible government we cannot simply release tax payers’ money unless it’s certain that they are put to good use. Presently, this project seems like a bottomless pit and we need to know the depth of what we are getting into. From the current state of finances allocated for this project it seems as if they are building a complex that’s even bigger than the Pentagon!” the Minister remarked.

Speaking further he said the finance would be released as soon as the cost details are determined. “It is not a case of not being equipped with the finances – it’s just a case of removing the corruption element from the previous contract,” he added.

In 2011, the government sought approval for a Rs. 20 billion allocation for parliamentary approval for the constructions of the Defence headquarters in Akuregoda, Battaramulla. Then the government announced its constructions are expected to conclude by 2013.(Lakna Paranamanna)

  Comments - 37

  • JeffK Tuesday, 17 March 2015 11:51 AM

    Unbelievable! How can the Finance minister halt a project that is under the defense ministry which was approved by the parliament? I think defense heads should discuss the implications of this action with the president. The president is responsible for the security of the country not a backdoor finance minister.

    gunaratna Tuesday, 17 March 2015 05:11 PM

    Are you sure that gota is the designer and the architects for this project ? Indicated cost 2.5% designers fee.

    Ralahamy Tuesday, 17 March 2015 05:23 PM

    For whose benefit is this structure? Give this to the Housing department, so that people can live peacefully. The war is over, thanks to the heavy sacrifice made by every single soldier.

    Gona Friday, 20 March 2015 12:17 PM

    Is it wrong to build a proper place for the Army, which was able to annihilate the most ruthless terrorist gang in the world? It should be a monument, because no country in the world has done it up to now. We should be very proud of this fact. This is part of the Tamil racist agenda fully backed by the Arrogant West and India They want to downplay the destruction of the LTTE. They are achieving it through the current regime of unpatriotic,jealous and power greedy bunch of selfish politicians. The Sinhala Modayas are hitting at every thing that MR did. Forgetting the fact that they are living in one piece because of him. The West and India wants him out of the scene completetly. No Gratitude.WhyTwo National Anthems, Road to Eelam. Hope the Sinhala Modayas start thinking at least now.Wake up !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Never too late,Hope you print this,although it is not part of your agenda.

    dilip Tuesday, 17 March 2015 05:34 PM

    According to the UNP, all the projects that was done by the previous government has no estimates. Or over estimated. Looks like all the development will stop. So might as well waight for Mr.Rajapaksa. I am sure people have not forgotten about the Colombo katunayaka high way construction started by the UNP.

    Chavi Tuesday, 17 March 2015 12:21 PM

    We wanted good governance! Not stop all work!

    ssp Tuesday, 17 March 2015 06:01 PM

    i do not like to comment a single word on the actions of people who without a brain.

    Ronn Tuesday, 17 March 2015 07:56 AM

    Here we go again. Might as well stop all development undertaken and we can then go back to garbage days which we are more accustomed to. Ravi started talking about corruption, as I understand his brother in law is now appointed the CEO of Insurance corporation, an ex police sargeant.Lets stop all development work and renegotiate contracts with 10% commission for new ministers. Everybody is in to make a quick buck.

    Eds Tuesday, 17 March 2015 12:53 PM

    Yeah great move! What next ? Do you need to remove the lamp posts on parliament road because they are too fancy ?

    indrajit Tuesday, 17 March 2015 12:58 PM

    Are we Asian superpower to have this Defence complex.what a waste of tax payer money. People who responsible to this waste has to punish in courts.

    Tissa Tuesday, 17 March 2015 01:07 PM

    Oh! another construction halted ! Halting ongoing constructions have negative effects and nothing to gain. Please...governing people... take this into account.

    Chuck Tuesday, 17 March 2015 06:57 PM

    2.5% for professional fees is not excessive, and the money is noted as partly coming from fees for some building projects. Does the government also not consider that in consolidating at one place, it will be selling off the existing sites and getting a high commercial value for them?Too much chasing of small amounts will cost them big if they keep this up.

    rohan Tuesday, 17 March 2015 01:09 PM

    And remember allocate the contract to a different party after receiving 10% bribe. This is the norm for construction industry in Sri Lanka. Ravi a person who has a court case against him due to his own corruption knows best. via DM Android App

    upali Tuesday, 17 March 2015 01:15 PM

    All development works have been stopped by YAHAPALANAYA.

    DHAMMIKA Tuesday, 17 March 2015 01:38 PM

    This so called government is going on the wrong track.Development projects have been stopped.It seems that we are going back...! We need the good governance.Ravi should not find political reasons to stopped good projects. head quarters of the forces an important project. It is our pride, national security should not be compromised. Ravi should not talk like a child. There is money for this project, Gota and the former government has found that money.Ravi should not give wrong impression to us.He should not find a political reasons to stopped projects like this. We voted this government not to act like this. If they act like this, perhaps they are like digging their grave....!!!

    LKcricket Tuesday, 17 March 2015 01:46 PM

    Gota is the one who made the biggest sacrifices and highest contribution for the mother land! Ravi you are no where when compared with Gota! Please mark your time!

    Gnanapala Tuesday, 17 March 2015 08:36 AM

    කිලිනොච්වි කියල මැදවච්චි යන හමුදාවකට Defence Headquarters මොකටද?

    The God Father Tuesday, 17 March 2015 08:37 AM

    10% always allocated only the receiver changes no matter who is in power.

    macapagal Tuesday, 17 March 2015 02:00 PM

    Is this project going to bring any revenue to the Country. No. Projects must be done with the intention lf bringing in revenue. Projects that does not generate employment and revenue should be stopped. Very good move taken by the Minister of Finance. Are we trying to compete with Pentagon. What a waste of the tax payers money.

    chaaminda weerakoon Tuesday, 17 March 2015 07:46 PM

    Main problem faced by the present government is , they can not have a proper Engineering evaluation regarding the ongoing projects. It is assumed to do all Engineering through Minister Patali. But, to date it is not successful. Please give this to organisations like Sri lankan Engineering Association (A volunteered body raise the voice of Engineers ,always talk about good governance and Engineering representation for national issues). They will assist you to Evaluate the projects and report free of charge.

    Doctor Honda Hitha Tuesday, 17 March 2015 02:00 PM

    Good decision, probe everything before recommence, Architect, Project Manager and all of this project are henchmen. The public do not need any Pentagon for Sri Lanka. This another ONE MAN SHOW project.

    Johar.Preena(Judy) Saturday, 21 March 2015 08:30 AM

    What is this issue, after all TMR Bangsajaya is a capable and credible person who served the police department with great distinction. He was a direct recruit and never was a ranker. Just leave him alone he is a capable person to handle this portfolio. His honesty and integrity in whatever he did is beyond question. Just move on Bangsa, you are doing great.

    Withana Tuesday, 17 March 2015 02:21 PM

    He is trying to renegotiate his commission just unbelievable

    SM Tuesday, 17 March 2015 02:23 PM

    This type of thing can’t be dragged. This is national security. Remember our forces need a proper Headquarter. The former army HQ land was sold without providing a proper mechanism to house them. They are located all over the city now! It should be the priority of any Govt. that is in power to provide the needs of the armed forces. Don’t wait till cows come home to finish the enquiry. Address the issue immediately and make sure our forces have the best of facilities.

    Oldie Tuesday, 17 March 2015 02:24 PM

    People pls dont forget that past. via DM Android App

    gotafun Tuesday, 17 March 2015 08:15 PM

    Why do we have to spend over Rs 50 bln for a defence headquarters. This could be the case if Sri Lanka was under a military regime which most of the people would wish. May be few people looked after by the previous regime would welcome a military regime under gota where they would have been benefitted and trying to criticise the decision to stop this waste of funds. It is a joke to call the construction of a defense secretariat as development. There are much more urgent needs in this country and I suggest these funds are diverted to rebuild the cancer hospital which is in a pathetic stage to serve the people.

    suranjith lal Tuesday, 17 March 2015 02:49 PM

    Mr. minister you talk about cleanness same like issa (prawn) you halt the project now mean do you want contractors to give you also something as something is better than nothing is that what you want to do. keep going like this and then see the island wide election result next time. you and Ranil both also should contest from outstation electorates to understand the true feelings of the public who live out of colombo District

    Thusha Tuesday, 17 March 2015 02:49 PM

    He will give approval after getting a commissions from another Contractor or same contractor........ Ane hafoi GOOD GOVERNANCE

    Nanda Tuesday, 17 March 2015 02:56 PM

    All stopping!. What yet started ?. Robbing?

    Freebird Tuesday, 17 March 2015 03:05 PM

    May be now 25% request via DM Android App

    Jus Tuesday, 17 March 2015 03:15 PM

    @chavi.. seriously?... This is good governance.. Would you build a house.. without a cost estimate? This seem very logical to me..

    siribiris Tuesday, 17 March 2015 03:32 PM

    What to do with the Structure, Shall we convert to a hotel of?

    saliya Tuesday, 17 March 2015 03:52 PM

    Most sections of the Army are in various private buildings as they have no proper facilities and no security,Delay in the construction will still incur undue costs in the form of rent,

    Ruwan Tuesday, 17 March 2015 10:42 AM

    Good move...!!! We are with you sir...

    siri Tuesday, 17 March 2015 04:26 PM

    2.5% belongs to Gota,

    ad Tuesday, 17 March 2015 04:27 PM

    Im sure this government will remove two highways also

    Senator Tuesday, 17 March 2015 04:46 PM

    If nothing is done it would be good governance according R.W. The most unproductive.

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