Central Expressways – a welcome development but path to construction lined with irregularities

Central Expressways – a welcome development but path to construction lined with irregularities

Central Expressways – a welcome development but path to construction lined with irregularities

Written by Mayooran Kantharvel

23 Sep, 2017 | 9:29 pm

At no point did our news reports on the Central Expressway say that we have issues against the construction of new expressways. The issue is that such projects are being implemented with commercial loans obtained at high interest rates, and after various fees are paid.

While there are many issues to be resolved in the country, obtaining such commercial loans at high interest rates will only force our future generations to pay off these debts for many years to come.

The government has abandoned attempts at obtaining funds on a government-to-government basis, and even through institutions such as JAICA and has opted to obtain the funds through a loan from the Tokyo Mitsubishi Bank.

The loan which will amount to one billion US dollars or roughly 153 billion rupees will include a high interest rate as well as a 10.07% insurance fee, a 1.1% arrangement fee and a 0.25% commission fee1.

Won’t the people of this country have to pay a large sum of money due to the action of this government?

Why did the government abandon avenues such as JAICA when they attempted to obtain these funds?

Was it because they attempted to finance the third phase of the expressway without a proper environmental impact assessment?

When issues begin to crop up because of the lack of an environmental assessment, wont the people of this country have to pay more to rectify these issues? Another major issue that has plagued the expressway construction has been the company that has been selected to carry out the construction work.

The company in question, Taisei,was first rejected during the bid process as it failed to provide a bid security.

When bids were submitted for a second time, Taisei had the highest bid. Taking both these factors into consideration, Taisei can be considered as a company that was rejected through the tender process.

Due to a similar tender issues Taisei Corp was charged with bid-rigging by the Japan Fair Trade Commission earlier this year. Allegations were also levelled against Taisei for a sink-hole that appeared in the Fukuoka City.

The bid price quoted by Taisei for the third phase of the central expressway was Rs. 134 billion.

Does this cost include advisory fees, costs to obtain lands and resettlement costs? If it does, then what is the total cost for the construction of this phase? In a backdrop of numerous issues plaguing the third phase, subject minister Lakshman Kiriella has been misleading the members of the Maha Sangha.

We have not, and will not question the construction of the expressway to make the commute of the public easier.

However, we will not stand idly by as attempts are made to misuse millions, line their own pockets and make the future generations debtors.
The Prime Minister himself explained how such actions that occurred during the previous regime panned out.

 

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