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TV report baseless, totally fabricated - Gemidiriya Project CEO

The CEO of the Gemidiriya Community Development and Livelihood Improvement Project Dr. Gamini Batuwitage denied a recent media report on a water supply project in Bulupitiya village in the Ridimaliyadda Divisional Secretariat Division in the Badulla district.

The news stated that a fraud has taken place in the procurement of PVC pipes and the project is behind schedule. Dr. Batuwitage said that this malicious TV news report was telecast just after the World Bank lauded the Sri Lankan government on the achievements of the Gemidiriya project as a highly successful rural development and poverty alleviation project. The Bank also approved US$ 75 million for the second phase of the project last week.

This sinister move is aimed at devaluing this achievement of the project, he said.

He said that immediately after the news report Gemidiriya and the Ministry of Nation Building carried out an investigation and found that the allegation levelled against the Bulupitiya Gemidiriya Peoples Company is baseless and totally fabricated.

In the Community Driven Development Model adopted by Gemidiriya, the whole project from decision making to implementation is done by the community in a fully transparent manner. Each committee consists of villagers who are accountable to the General Assembly or “Mahasabha” of the Company where 80% of the villagers attend. The procurement committee has called for tenders for the purchase of PVC pipes and has selected the best offer.

The Chief Facilitator of the Gemidiriya Ridemaliyadda Hub Office D.D. Champika said that construction work of the water project which costs Rs. 2.7 million is under way as scheduled and 90% of the 16 Km long pipeline has been completed.

The project is implemented by the community themselves and they have contributed 30% of the cost, 10% in cash and 20% in labour. Therefore, in the CDD model we adopt there is no room for irregularities or frauds.

Aralupitiya is an underprivileged village in the Ridimaliyadda DS division, the second poorest DS division in the country according to poverty statistics. The water project supplies tap water for 176 households in the village.

In phase I of the project Gemidiriya has financed 2,140 community infrastructure sub projects and Aralupitiya water project is one of them.

World Bank last week said that the Gemidiriya approach is extremely successful. Phase II of the Gemidiriya project will be combined with the “Gamaneguma” the main rural development program of the government.

 

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