Sept 16, Colombo: President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has entrusted officials with the responsibility of completing the construction of 100,000 km of rural roads and connecting them to the main road network by 2024.
The President underscored that it is the right of every citizen to meet their transportation needs comfortably, quickly and safely. The “Vision of Prosperity” policy statement guarantees the people an efficient and high quality road network that overcomes the backwardness and broken interconnection of the transport system.
The President also emphasized that the construction of 100,000 km of rural and by-roads throughout the country should be done in an environmentally friendly manner.
The President made these suggestions at a discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat Tuesday (15) on the future plans of the State Ministry of Rural Roads and Other Infrastructure.
The President said that new bridges should be built to replace small bridges, vine bridges and footbridges. Work on 8,000 km of roads has commenced in the past few months. Out of this 400 km of roads have been completed.
The President said that all District Secretaries are responsible for providing the required quantity of soil, stones and sand to be used in road construction.
The President also stressed that all institutions, including the environment, wildlife, forestry and archeology, which should approve the provision of resources, should meet at the district level and give prior approval.
It was also decided at the discussion to plant 02 million different types of saplings on both sides of the main roads.
President Rajapaksa also said that there should be no disruption or delay to the construction work. The President pointed out that the supervision of road construction should be done by both the Government and the Contractor and that sub-contracts should never be allowed.
The President instructed the officials to take measures to completely stop parking all vehicles on the pavements on both sides of the main roads.
He also said that providing parking facilities should be mandatory in the construction of buildings including apartment complexes and shopping malls.
Minister of Highways Johnston Fernando, State Minister Nimal Lansa, Basil Rajapaksa, Head of the Presidential Task Force on Economic Revival, Secretary to the President PB Jayasundera, Cabinet and Secretaries to Ministries, officials of line institutions and representatives of contracting companies were also present at the discussion.