Cement shortage, inefficiency plague Jaffna construction industry
[TamilNet, Sunday, 19 September 2004, 10:36 GMT]
Nearly forty percent of funds allocated by the Government of Sri Lanka last year to implement several development projects in Jaffna have not been spent primarily due to lethargic attitude of officials responsible for disbursement of funds causing major delays in several development projects, representatives of contractors' consortium said.
However, an official report analysing the progress of the projects attributed project delays to the timing of the release of funds. The report said that funds are released during the latter part of the year when monsoon rain sets in and this forces contractors to suspend construction
One contractor said they were forced to submit amended estimates to the authorities because of the sudden increase of materials and their amended estimates were not favourably considered by the authorities.
Local officials responded that they have to adhere conditions and recommendations of the North East Provincial Council authorities and central government ministries in reviewing the estimates already submitted by construction firms.
Meanwhile, representatives of contractors' association also expressed fears that, in addition to bureacratic delays, current shortage of cement in the district will seriously impact the construction industry in Jaffna.