United National Party Parliament Member Eran Wickremaratna said the public are broadly of the view that the infrastructure development projects such as the development of roads is perceived to be rampant with corruption.
He said this at the launch of the National Integrity Systems Analysis (NICSA) 2014 at the Organization of Professional Associations of Sri Lanka on the 28th July 2014. NICSA was compiled in partnership with other South Asian chapters of Transparency International and assesses 13 vital institutions that are critical to the fight against corruption.
They are – the Legislature, Executive, Judiciary, Public Sector, Law Enforcement, Auditor General, Complaint Mechanisms, Election Commission, Anti-Corruption Commission, Political Parties, Media, Civil Society and Business. The report discusses how well these institutions perform identifying strengths and weaknesses in the existing laws and the corresponding practice.
Executive Director of Transparency International Sri Lanka S.Ranugge handed over the first copies of the report to the parliamentarians, professionals and imminent members of the society. The National Integrity System was depicted as weak according to the assessment done by the Transparency International Sri Lanka.
According to the assessment the Executive is overwhelmingly strong compared to the other actors/institutions of the country’s National Integrity System. It was also revealed that the independence of several pillars including Public Sector, Media, Civil Society, Judiciary and Anti Corruption Commission is compromised.
While addressing the gathering Wickremarathne said few years back , to built a kilometer of a rural road it cost between Rupees 20 to 30 million. But today it cost between Rupees 100 to 120 million. In the Southern Highway cost for a kilometer was Rs. 900 million. This amount was almost doubled when the government built the Colombo – Katunayake Expressway. It was Rs. 1800 million for a kilometer. The Colombo outer circular Expressway from Kaduwela to Kerawalapitiya costs Rs. 6,700 million.
“There is something drastically wrong. These roads are not building on difficult terrains or mountains. We can no longer call it a robbery as the world is not enough to describe the crime” he added.