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Comprehensive infrastructure expansion in Negombo:

UPFA heading for landslide victory - Negombo Mayor



 Mayor Anthony Jayaweera

Seventy-five percent of the work in Negombo has been completed on two significant projects - the Kamachodai Market complex project and the restoration of the Rajapaksa Park project - to transform Negombo as a model city in the region, Mayor Anthony Jayaweera told the Sunday Observer. He said many projects have been completed while many more that were started under his tenure are in progress. Several mega projects were launched by the UPFA administration of the Negombo Municipal Council, in coordination with the Ministry of Economic Development.


Hamilton Canal
The new bus terminal with shopping complex and other facilities

The total expenditure on the Kamachodai market complex project is Rs.200 Mn and the amount was allocated by Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa. Of the total expenditure of Rs.125 Mn on the Rajapaksa Park restoration project, Minister Basil Rajapaksa allocated Rs.50 Mn while former Western Provincial Council Minister Nimal Lansa, who was also Mayor of Negombo, gave Rs.20 Million from his budget allocations, Mayor Jayaweera said. The balance amount was borne by the MC.

The picturesque Rajapaksa Park that was the pride of Negombo many years ago was in a dilapidated state and he decided to restore it to its former glory, the Mayor said. Minister Basil Rajapaksa also allocated Rs. 270 Mn for the Kachchikade Shopping Complex project and the work is in progress, he said. A library complex is also under construction, he said.

The amount allocated by Minister Basil Rajapaksa for January this year is Rs.240 Mn. The amount is being utilised for the construction of new mother/child-care clinics, for construction of children play grounds and other people's welfare activities, the Negombo Mayor said.

Minister Basil Rajapaksa and former Western PC Minister Nimal Lansa have been the strength behind all their development programs for the welfare of the people and, doubtless, the UPFA will have a landslide victory in the March 29 PC polls, be predicted. The compost unit started by the MC at an expenditure of Rs.4.6 Mn is in operation handling about one tonne garbage per day. The allocation of funds from the Ministry of Economic Development for January this year is of Rs.240 Mn, he said.

Explaining further the development works undertaken by the UPFA administration of the MC, he said that:

Excellent development works were carried out by my predecessors too. The Negombo bus terminal is one of the best not only in Sri Lanka but also in the whole region. The Negombo Courts complex, the Sports complex and the projects on bio-gas production, the projects for protecting and growing more mangroves, the rehabilitation of the Hamilton canal project and the restoration of the Dutch Fort are some of the projects that have refurbished Negombo as a colourful city.

A swimming pool for the public is being constructed at the beach park and this is in fulfilling a long-cherished desire of former Western PC Minister Nimal Lansa. Negombo, being the most sought after tourist destination, the MC gives prominence on encouraging and developing the hospitality industry and providing entertainments. ‘Dengue’ was the biggest problem and biggest challenge that the city encountered in the past. But the MC has been successful in tackling it. The disease has been eradicated 100 percent in the municipal area.

The shortage of vehicles has been addressed and during my period we bought vehicles for the value of Rs.30.7 Mn. Seven tractors, gali bowsers and water bowsers were bought. The council is now fully armed to provide an unhindered service the people.

The MC and Town Hall buildings are old and we are in the process of renovating them to give a new facelift. The drainage system in the city is very old and we have implemented a program on renovating it under the modern drainage system. The main objective of the MC is transforming the city as a model city with all modern facilities. On completion of the drainage restoration program, a major part of this objectgive would be achieved.

Medical Officer of Health of the MC Dr.N.K. Wijelath, working with his staff under very trying conditions, due to want of a decent building and adequate space, explained the tireless efforts of his department to eradicate ‘dengue’ , to conduct awareness programs for the public, for disposal of garbage, health care for the staff engaged in garbage disposal and child and mother care services provided by them. His department handles about 80 tonnes of garbage per day to keep the city free from garbage pollution and to eradicate ‘dengue mosquito’ breeding sites. A special program to protect the staff who are handing garbage disposal has also been implemented, he said.


The building constructed for the Maternal and Child Clinic at Munnakkare

The staff of the MOH's office await the arrival of the chief guest and guests at the opening of the Maternal and Child Clinic in Kudapaduwa
A brand new vehicle mounted with a fogging machine was donated to the MOH by the former Western PC Minister Nimal Lansa under a program to eradicate mosquito breeding sites. Here the officials having a close look at the fogging machine. Ex-Minister Lansa and Mayor Anthony Jayaweera are also in the picture

He thanked the Mayor of the MC for providing the space for his department to operate but with provision of proper accommodation and facilities by the relevant authorities he and his staff would be able to perform even better he said showing to the writer the small and inconvenient rooms from which they were operating. For the staff, especially the ladies, there was hardly any space for a dress-change. He pointed out that in spite of these shortcomings they have been successful in their efforts to eradicate dengue menace.

Explaining their achievements in the health sector, he said:

We have been able to control dengue and other vector-borne diseases through direct action and awareness programs among the public. In Negombo dengue menace had a doubled-edged threat because November and December, when the outbreak happens throughout the country, festive season begins in Negombo. In this period the Negombo town is considered as a festival zone with decorations and illuminations along the streets, Churches and houses. We realised that one of the prime necessities is the quick disposal of waste and garbage.

Outsiders come in large numbers and the quantity of garbage and waste to be disposed increases considerably. We drew up a master plan to handle the situation and implemented it to the word. Our first focus was on eradicating dengue-mosquito breeding grounds and creating an awareness about it among the local communities.

The Nimal Lansa Foundation which had about 4,000 women from the fishing communities in its membership and affiliated to the fishermen's unions was of great help in conveying our messages to the local communities. We were successful in making it a community-based program. We had the task of educating the people and getting their active participation.

The Nimal Lansa Foundation also played a pivotal role in this.

There is an international program on child and mother care. We are implementing the program to the very word. We have a special program for our staff who are directly handling garbage. They are our strength and they are doing a noble service by the society. In the process of handling garbage they sustain minor injuries and are vulnerable to hepatitis and tetanus. They are a risk group and, therefore, we vaccinate them periodically to protect them from such diseases. There is also a program to educate the health staff, community leaders and parents. Parliamentarian Subashani Fernandopulle is a specialist medical officer who is an expert in this field and she is delivering lectures on early childhood development and care. By educating our staff we are passing this message to the community. My objective is to get the top people on the field to educate my staff.

 

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