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
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.