Feb 21, Colombo: A decision has been made to lodge a complaint with the Government of Japan regarding the Japanese contractor who continues to delay the completion of the B package of the Bandaranaike International Airport Development Project.
Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga instructed the Secretary to the Ministry to inform the Japanese Ambassador to Sri Lanka regarding the delay in completion of the work at the progress review meeting of the Airport Development Project.
The progress review meeting of the project which commenced in November last year under the patronage of the Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa was held Friday (19) under the patronage of Minister Ranatunga at the Katunayake Bandaranaike International Conference Hall.
At the meeting, the Minister advised the relevant contractor that the work on this project should be completed on time and emphasized that the benefit of such development projects should be given to the country and the people and necessary steps should be taken for that.
The two-part project consisting of ‘Package A’ and ‘Package B’ is funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). In 2014, the Government of Japan provided a loan of 74,394 million Japanese Yen (131.5 billion rupees) for the Bandaranaike International Airport Development Project following an agreement reached between then President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe.
The Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) (Private) Limited will spend 21.645 billion rupees. The cost of the 'A' package is 108 billion rupees and the estimated cost of the B Package is Rs. 06 billion.
Under the first phase (Package A), buildings connected to the main terminal building, passenger bridges, storm water drainage system, elevated roads, electricity, water supply and sewerage system, combustion engines and integrated machinery, and a 5-storey car park will also be constructed. Under the second phase (Package B), the machinery, access road, retention pond and storm water drainage system will be constructed.
A Japanese contractor is in charge of the construction of this B package, which was launched on April 27, 2017. It was scheduled to be completed in October 2019.
Its construction was delayed due to various reasons and on several occasions the Airport and Aviation Services took steps to give it extra time. After the last extension, the project is expected to be completed and handed over in February this year.
During the discussion with the Minister, the Japanese contractor requested further time citing various reasons and the Minister refused the request.
"This is not an aid. It is a loan. We have already been given one and a half year to complete this project. We have to pay the debt without any income. We told several times to speed this up. But it’s being delayed citing various other reasons. This is public money. Therefore, we have a responsibility to see it is done properly. Therefore, we will lodge a complaint with your government. We will take further action accordingly,” the Minister strongly emphasized.
S. Hettiarachchi, Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism, Madhava Devasurendra, Secretary to the State Ministry, Sunil Gunawardena, Additional Secretary, Major GA Chandrasiri, Chairman, Airport and Aviation Services, Rajiv Sooriyarachchi, Vice Chairman, and representatives of the Contractor and advisers were also present at the discussion.