The gravy was ladled only to H’tota in the past: Champika

A sum of Rs 1.5 million has been spent per individual in the Hambantota district during the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime whereas the allocation per head in the rest of the country was only Rs 75,000 during the corresponding period, Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said yesterday.

He said that the capital expenditure spent on Hambantota during 2005 to 2014 was Rs 900 billion. “But there is only a population of 1.5 million in the Hambantota district,” Minister Ranawaka said.

He made these observations to the media after cutting the first sod to construct a building for the Land Reclamation and Development Corporation in Kerawalapitiya. “The country has to take a loan of Rs 1800 billion next year and 40 percent out of this will go towards settling the loans taken for construction of the Expressways during the Rajapaksa regime.

He said that the popular slogan by rural youth then was Kolambata Kiri, Apita Kekiri which meant that all the privileges went Colombo but rural areas received a raw deal. “But during the Rajapaksa regime there hadn’t been even Kekiri (Cucumis Melo) to Colombo,” said Minister Ranawaka. “However this government too is working too much for the people in Hambantota”.

The Minister also said that benefits of the money allocated for the Expressways and for Hambantota during the previous regime would not accrue to us after 10 years. “Had the same money utilized to the development of Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara districts the entire country could have benefitted.”

He further said the Ministry’s attempt was to set up the Land Reclamation and Development Corporation in Kerawalapitiya shifting the buildings from Kirimandala Mawatha.

“Cabinet approval has been granted to construct a Green City there,” said Minister Ranawaka.

“Cabinet approval has also been granted even to construct a housing complex, develop schools and roads there within three years.”

He also said that steps will be taken to develop Kerawalapitiya which once was a backyard for garbage dumping.

He added that it would be developed to provide services to the Colombo Port City, airport etc.

“When the Outer Circular Road opens in 2018, a new era will dawn to Kerawalapitiya,” Minister Ranawaka said.

Land Reclamation and Development Corporation Chairman Asela Iddawela, its Acting Director Roshan Gunawardena and its General Manager Srimathi Senadeera were also present at the occasion.

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