Deheragoda warns of large-scale capacity shortfall in construction

Monday, 13 August 2012 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Sri Lanka will experience large scale capacity shortfall which could affect the entire nation building development process of the country, GS Engineering Chairman Prof. Krishan Deheragoda said.

Noting that the industry and policy makers must ensure that immediate steps are taken to prevent the situation, he stated that of 2500 contractors recorded in the country according to Institute for Construction Training and Development (ICTAD) only 5% are graded as specialist contactors. “Among the 5%, 3.8 billion worth of work has been done in the country which is not enough,” he said.

The main issue is that most construction companies in the country are family based companies which are not strong in the phase of innovation and are unwilling to take financial risks. Deheragoda acknowledged that the presence in the Colombo Stock Exchange by the sector is almost zero at present. “Lack of vigour and inward looking attitude to business has resulted in them subcontracting to larger international companies.”

Time has now come to change the rules of the game, he said. He also noted that the sector is highly dependent on the conventional models and methods instead of shifting towards green technologies as the rest of the world. Application of green building designs and technologies, energy efficient technologies and adaption of modern technologies for high rise and condominiums must be looked at in this phase of development, he said. He noted that at present the buildings are heavily over designed which many clients even find hard to finance at mid point.

“Due to such issues the country will experience large scale capacity shortfall which if not immediately fulfilled will affect the industry and the reconciliation process of Sri Lanka,” Deheragoda said.

The construction industry has contributed well over 9% to the GDP growth of the country in the past and thanks to massive development endeavours carried out by the Government a 17% growth was experienced in the construction industry in 3Q of last year against the same period in 2010.