Gohagoda garbage dump project another shady dealing of Minister Malik Samarawickrama?

Gohagoda garbage dump project another shady dealing of Minister Malik Samarawickrama?

Written by Staff Writer

26 Oct, 2018 | 3:03 am

COLOMBO (News 1st) – The Gohagoda garbage dump where all garbage from Kandy is accumulated, is currently contributing to severe adverse environmental issues. The garbage released from the dump is currently collecting along the banks of the Mahaweli River. News 1st reported on multiple occasions that the garbage dump is on the verge of collapsing.

As a solution to this issue, former Minister of Agriculture Duminda Dissanayake presented a bill to the cabinet proposing the implementation of  a project to construct a cold storage unit for organic manure and a project to generate electricity.

Later, Minister Malik Samarawickrama directed this proposal to the Cabinet Subcommittee on economic management, which he himself is a member of and took the most important aspect of this proposal under his ministry.

According to the Swiss Challenge method, several companies such as Soulventure; a German company, Recycle Engineering; a local company and a local promotion company named AC and RF were selected for this project. Under this method, once a particular company has presented its project proposal, various project proposals from other companies which provide a better offer will be called for. The allocated time offered for this process was less than a month.

Subsequently, only one project proposal had been presented, countering the main proposal and even the said proposal had been rejected since it did not have a bid reserve. Accordingly, cabinet approval had been granted on the 24th of January 2017 to implement this project under the joint company which had been proposed by Malik Sarawickreme’s ministry.

The bill presented to cabinet states that since this was carried out according to the Swiss Challenge method, as per the National Procurement Guidelines, a logistic bond is not required.

However, President Maithripala Sirisena who was the Minister of Mahaweli Development & Environment at the time, after considering the project proposal had said that he cannot agree with the proposal. His stance had been that implementation of such a project would not reduce the garbage issue in Kandy.

The President had also expressed his displeasure at the fact that neither the Kandy Municipal Council, the Central Provincial Council nor the Ministry of Provincial Councils & Local Government was informed about this, neither was an agreement reached with these three institutions. Eventually, approval for this project had been granted, disregarding the President’s opposition and also disregarding the previous proposal presented by the President.

Minister Duminda Dissanayake stated that the project is still in operation and that Minister Mahinda Amaraweera had held discussions with the President as well. Meanwhile, Minister of Agriculture, Mahinda Amaraweera stated that cabinet approval was received for the project and that the necessary agencies were assigned with the relevant tasks. He added that the German Company that is involved in the matter has been adviced to continue its operations.

It was revealed on the 18th of September at a media briefing held to create awareness on this project, that USD 10 million was to be deposited in a foreign bank account under the name of the Ceylon Fertilizer Company, at the inception of this project.

Chairman of the Ceylon Fertilizer Company (CFC), Amarananda Abeygunasekara stated that the CFC was chosen as the local company and that as a pre-requisite they were asked to deposit a sum of USD 10 million dollars in a foreign bank located in Sri Lanka. The CFC Chairman continued to say that due to their inability to produce such a huge amount of money that discussions are currently being held with several banks including People’s bank and Bank of Ceylon.

He added that they have also requested a bank grant from the treasury allowing them to pay the interest which is the only way they could deposit the USD 10 million and that a decision was made to deposit the money in the CITI Bank.

The cabinet of ministers has agreed to buy a unit of electricity produced at this power plant for Rs. 36.20. However, the Electricity Board states that electricity can be sold at around Rs. 23.10 from such a plant. The Electricity Board further adds that the price difference should be borne by the treasury or another entity.

Isn’t this a situation where the project has been handed over to a company pre-selected by Malik Samarawickrema’s Ministry under the guise of the Swiss Challenge Method? Hasn’t the company that calls itself the investor attempted to obtain the money required for the project through the Ceylon Fertilizers Company as a bond?

What action will be taken against those who try to earn money even through garbage?

We revealed on numerous occasions as to how agreements were reached with companies beforehand, deceiving the people. The Gohagoda project also involves public money and it seems like it will be carried out using public funds.

We have been revealing the questionable dealings of Minister Malik Samarawickrama ever since the government was established in 2015. We have also reported instances where Minister Malik Samarawickrama attended the breakfast meeting with regard to the Bond Issuance where Malik Samarawickrema attended as the party chairman of UNP.

He was also involved in awarding the contract to construct the 3rd phase of the Central Expressway to Taisei Corp. deviating from due process. It has now been revealed that this was done through an individual called Monte Cassim. We challenge Minister Malik Samarawickrama to openly make a statement if these facts are wrong.

Citizens of this country believe that such people who waste public money for their hidden agendas should end up in jail.

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