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Sunday, 12 May 2013





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Ampara to become major transport hub

It was day time, around 1.30 pm. People were hurrying to catch the buses for their destinations while some were standing under the shadow of trees until the buses came. Some college students were chatting with each other till their bus began the journey. Some elders and middle age women were sitting inside the bus stand. Long distance buses started to leave on time.

Ampara bus terminus

Owner of Deepal Dias Transport Services K.M. Abeyratne.

A maize vendor
A section of Ampara bus terminus

Pic : Mohammed Naalir

Government Agent, Ampara, Neil de Alwis

Everything was taking place as usual but the development of Ampara bus stand stuck out like a sore thumb. The building was not clean and untidy. It seemed to be white washed a long time ago. We talked some passengers, bus drivers, shop keepers and mobile vendors in the bus stand.

We talked with them about the development taken place in Ampara district parallel to Deyata Kirula national development exhibition held at Hardy Higher Technical Institute premises. They were contended with all livelihood and infrastructure development projects implemented in the district, except the development of Ampara bus stand. They collectively said that the Ampara bus stand was not developed in line with Deyata Kirula exhibition, and said the Government should take steps to develop Ampara bus stand in line with other development projects to be implemented in Ampara district.

A resident of Akkaraipattu, Rafiudeen Musadique said that a large number of major livelihood and infrastructure development projects have been implemented in Ampara district by the Government in Ampara district parallel to 7th Deyata Kirula exhibition. Over 75 percent development works in the district have been completed. Certain rural roads have also to be renovated. The relevant authorities should take immediate steps to implement the remaining projects considering the well-being of large number of people residing in these areas.

He said that certain access roads are being developed in Akkaraipattu area. A large number of irrigation canals have been renovation while providing adequate incentives to improve the agriculture sector.

When, he was asked about Ampara bus station. Musadique said he knows nothing as he did not visit Ampara town for the past couple of months.

A.M. Sadique, a private bus driver, said that 32 private buses play between Kalmunai and Ampara daily. We have no parking facilities in the bus stand. There is no rest room for drivers and conductors in the bus stand. There are enough toilets but they are not clean. If those facilities are improved it will be helpful for everyone including the passengers.

He said that a large number of people come to Ampara bus stand to get a bus for Badulla, Nuwara-Eliya, Bandarawela, Galle, Matara, Hambantota, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Kalmunai, Mahiyangana and other parts of the country.

The bus stand is not maintained properly. It should be kept clean. Passengers, drivers, conductors and the shop keepers should help keep the bus stand clean. The relevant authorities should take necessary steps to solve this problem. The facilities in the bus stand are enough to a considerable level. But those facilities should be improved.

Ahmad Nawshad, a bus driver, operating between Ampara and Kalmunai said that the parking facility is the main problem faced by the bus operators. We undergo huge inconveniences to park the buses and to enter the stand. A large number of buses are parked by the sides of road due to lack of parking facilities inside the bus stand.

Most probably roads for all directions have been developed and carpeted. Our only request to the authorities is to develop the bus stand. The Government implemented various development projects in the district parallel to Deyata Kirula exhibition. The development of Ampara bus stand should have been included but the Government failed to do it. But still we are confident that the Government will do its job well, driver Nawshad said.

Owner of Deepal Dias Transport Services, K.M. Abeyratne said that there are so many shortcomings in the bus stand to be improved. We hoped the bus stand would be developed under the Deyata Kirula program. But it did not take place.

“We want to get the bus stand developed. During the rainy season, the entire stand premises will remain muddy due to the movement of buses. During heavy rains the bus station building will also get wet. Certain days the bus station will remain dark. Certain days lights will be burning even during the day time. Maintenance of Ampara bus stand is very poor”, he said.

“I immediately brought this to the attention of Ampara Municipal Councilor in this regard. He took immediate action and solved this problem immediately. Now lights are maintained properly, switched off in the morning switched on in the evening”, Abeyratne said.

“Hundreds of buses arrive in and leave from Ampara to various parts of the country. Thousands of passengers come to Ampara bus stand to leave for various directions and vice versa. When the Ampara bus stand is developed the people in the region as well as other parts of the country will immensely benefit. The facilities at the bus station should be improved while developing it but there is no shortage of buses. Anytime buses will be available to various directions from Ampara”, Abeyratne said.

We brought the view of people to the attention of Government Agent of Ampara district Neil de Alwis. He said nobody needs to worry; the Government has taken steps to develop the Ampara bus stand with all facilities soon. Estimation to implement the project is being prepared now.

He said that the regional development was postponed because there was a shortage of technicians. Both the Deyata Kirula site development works and regional development projects can’t be implemented simultaneously. If implemented the real outcome of the project can’t be obtained. Due to this cause the development of Ampara bus stand was postponed. The Government has implemented various livelihoods and infrastructure development projects development projects parallel to Deyata Kirula national development program under the regional development program.

Rural roads, bus halts, irrigation canals are being developed under the regional development program. Ampara bus stand will be developed into a model bus stand in the region. On the completion of the project all facilities will be available in the Ampara bus stand, Alwis said.

“We have developed fairs and markets under the regional development program. Under this program priority has been given to rural development. Certain development projects which were missed in the Deyata Kirula development program have been included to regional development program. On the completion of ongoing development projects the Ampara district will be state of the art district” Alwis said.

“The Government Agent said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed him to implement the development projects perfectly. Standard and quality will be considered highly. We did not want to develop the Ampara bus stand temporarily for Deyata Kirula exhibition. Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa has also instructed us that a sustainable development should be achieved in the region. He also instructed us to be vigilant in the quality and standard while the construction is going on”, Alwis said.

Every fifteen minutes a bus will leave from Ampara to other parts of the district and other parts of the country. To develop the bus stand is the collective appeal of people in Ampara town. Ampara possesses special features such as tourism attractions like Ullai, Pottuvil and most important historical sites close to Ampara. At least white washing the bus stand at the moment is rather good. All bus stands in the Deyata Kirula held cities have been developed and modified except Ampara bus stand. He asked the relevant authorities at least to white wash the bus stand building before commencing the development work on the bus stand, Abeyratne said.

A pop corn vendor at the bus stand said that there are several pits inside the bus stand and during rainy days the passengers and the mobile vendors undergo immense difficulties to get on the bus and carry out their business. According to him the Government should take steps to carpet the bus stand while improving other facilities.

Street vendors in the Ampara town have been given uniforms and Rs. 3,000 worth cheques to each, Divi Neguma program implemented by the Economic Development Ministry. We also undergo huge difficulties in running our businesses during the rainy days.

A large number of major development projects have been implemented in Ampara town including road development, parallel to Deyata Kirula exhibition, he said.

Somachandra Peiris a passenger at the Ampara bus stand said that the relevant authorities should take steps to keep the bus stand clean. Everywhere there is betel spittle. Nobody can walk in the bus stand bare foot. While the country is moving towards rapid development such activities should be prevented. Ampara is also one of the busiest bus stands. It should also be developed on par with other projects implemented by the Government in the district.

Dissanayaka Mudiyansalage Piyaratne, a youth from Ampara town said that the Government should take immediate steps to improve the facilities of Ampara bus stand on par with other projects implemented by the Government after the Deyata Kirula exhibition.

Swarnawattha Arachchilage Gunapala, a three wheeler driver said that there is lack of parking place inside the bus stand to accommodate a large number of vehicles.

He also said that the Ampara bus stand should be developed while improving other important facilities. The Government should focus attention towards the development of Ampara bus stand. The facilities in the premises should also be improved.

Chanthni Hemanthi Hewapathirana, a women officer working in a private institution praised the Government for bringing such a great development to Ampara district in line with the Deyata Kirula exhibition. The achieved development should be maintained properly, and then only maximum benefit can be obtained by the next generation. Actually when compared to other developments, the authorities have failed to develop the Ampara bus stand, she said.

There is no rest room for the passengers. Destination boards are also not available at the bus stand, she said.


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