The Government yesterday confirmed that it would restart major road development projects undertaken by the previous regime.
Most of these projects were signed between countries, companies and contractors, which cannot be stopped.
Minister of Highways and Investment Promotion Kabir Hashim said that they would continue the stopped projects in the near future.
“These projects were only stopped because the Ministry did not have funds to pay the contractors. Due to the financial fraud that had taken place in the Ministry during the previous regime, there is a deficit of Rs. 28 billion. Hence, I have submitted a proposal to Cabinet to grant this amount to continue these projects,” he added.
He said the Treasury was now gradually releasing the funds required to recommence these projects. He assured that the Government would complete these projects curtailing extra expenses to the Government.
In addition, the Government will commence fresh road development projects at the beginning of next month.
He asserted that the extension of the Southern Expressway project from Matara to Hambantota would be commenced on 4 July under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena, while Colombo-Kandy Highway project would commence within two weeks’ time.
A competitive bidding process will be held soon for the Colombo-Ratnapura road to ensure the best deal is obtained for the country and work will soon commence.
“We cannot put the burden on the general public just because the previous regime did not act responsibly. We will rectify the system and look into the financial mishaps that had taken place,” he said.
Minister Hashim said the Government had granted Rs. 30 million to restart all the road development projects in rural areas with special emphasis to rehabilitate village roads in every electorate.