Written by Nathasha De Alwis
08 May, 2018 | 1:27 am
COLOMBO (News 1st) – The Prime Minister said on Sunday(May 6) that construction of the Central Expressway is being done through a proper tender process. However, since it’s inception the construction of the Central Expressway has come under strong criticism as it has been marred with impropriety.
It must be noted that the Tender process the PM speaks of was not an open one. It was widely reported that the RDA had written to the Japanese Special Envoy requesting to make three recommendations each for the construction and consultation work on the Central Expressway.
Japan thereafter wrote back with three contractors, namely Wakachiku, Penta-Ocean and Taisei who initially expressed interest in the construction project.
Wakachiku’s area of expertise was building bridges while Penta-Ocean was well known for naval engineering and land reclamation. Due to the lack of experience on road constructions, their bids were disqualified and Taisei was selected. However, Taisei failed to provide a bid security and was therefore deemed unfit for the project.
According to Sri Lankan Law, if a bidder fails to present a bid security it is considered as a complete deviation of due process in awarding the tender. In addition bodies like the Standing Cabinet Appointed Procurement Committee have been established to ensure that due process is followed and the bidders have no interaction with the government body responsible for a project.
It was reported that the then Minister of Highways had held discussions with the bidders for the construction of the Central Expressway. Thereafter, following a request made to the Japanese ambassador’s office a fourth bid was made, this time from Fujita Corp. However since Fujita was also deemed unfit for the project, the construction reverted to Taisei Corp.
Earlier, Taisei corp was charged with bid rigging by the Japan fair trade commission and allegations were also leveled against Taisei for a sinkhole that appeared in the Fukuoka city.
Moreover, the third phase of the central expressway which is being awarded to Taisei is being built using a commercial loan from the Tokyo Mitsubishi Bank. Questions arise as to why the Government would opt for a commercial loan instead of looking into G2G avenues of funding. Incidentally being a commercial loan it also carried a number of other charges that come along with it, including an Insurance Premium of 10.07 %.
Therefore, the question is where the is transparency in this tender process for the Central Expressway the Prime Minister speaks about? Will the Prime Minister continue to misrepresent and lie to the people just as he did with the Central Bank Treasury Bond Scam?
PM talks about the proper tender process used to construct Central Expressway#lka #PM #News1st #PrimeMinister #CentralExpressway
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