Controversial UPFA MP Nishantha Muthuhettigama is in the news again after he is alleged to have removed an iron railing which was at the newly opened Galle bus terminus.
Mr. Mutuhettigama had removed the railing after private bus operators on the Galle-Hikkaduwa route suspended services on Wednesday demanding that the railing be removed because it prevented commuters from boarding Hikkaduwa-bound buses.
The bus operators said because of the railing, commuters boarded the Ambalangoda or Baddegama-bound buses instead. Private bus operators on other routes had also joined the strike by Wednesday afternoon.
Mr. Mutuhettigama had handed over the section of the railing he had removed to the Galle Municipal Council but this action had irked Southern Province Chief Minister Shan Wijeya Lal De Silva who later told the media that he did not approve of what had happened and added that problems could not be solved arbitrarily.
“The Galle Central Bus Terminus was constructed at a cost of Rs.400 million. The queues for both the Hikkaduwa and Ambalagoda bound buses are located on one platform. The private bus operators suspended bus service claiming that passengers to Hikkaduwa boarded the Ambalangoda buses. We had decided either to locate the two queues on different platforms or to close the entrance at Gamini Mawatha. However, before we could do as decided, the MP has removed the railing without Municipal Council approval, the Transport Authority or the Transport Ministry,” Mr. De Silva said.
(D.G. Sugathapala and Sumathipala Diyagahage)