The Ministry of Health has said that the construction work of the six-storey building for the accident and emergency service of the Kalmunai Ashraf Memorial Hospital has been suspended due to insufficient completion by the contractor within the stipulated time.
This information has been released through an application made under the Right to Information Act.
The Ashraf Memorial Hospital provides health care to the people of the coastal areas of the Ampara District from Pottuvil to Kalmunai.
The Ministry of Health has decided to construct a six-storey Accident and Emergency Unit at Kalmunai Ashraf Memorial Hospital to provide more effective health care to the people of the region.
The landstone laying ceremony and the opening ceremony of the blood bank of the hospital was held on June 17, 2018 with the participation of the then Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne. https://www.newsview.lk/2018/06/blog-post_601.html
On August 21, 2018, the Cabinet approved the transfer of the responsibility (contractor) for the construction of the building to Link Engineering Pvt.
The project, which is expected to be completed in about 735 days, was officially launched on October 12, 2018. 926,548,232.30 Rupees was allocated by the Ministry of Health for the construction of the first two floors of this six storied building.
Dr. Rahman, Chief Doctor of Ashraf Memorial hospital handed over the 31,098 square feet land to the contractors (Link Engineering) on 2nd of November 2018.
As a result, the Ministry of Health has paid an advance of Rs. 182,885,646.46 (excluding vat tax) to the contractor, Link Engineering Private Company.
However, construction work on the building began on March 31, 2019. The event was attended by the then State Minister of Health Faisal Qasim as the Chief Guest.
As such, no construction work could be observed on the building. In this context, applications for information have recently been submitted to the Ministry of Health and the Kalmunai Ashraf Memorial Hospital under the Right to Information Act.
When they are replying to the RTI request that, the Ministry of Health has decided to suspend the construction work of the building on August 23, 2019 and has informed the relevant parties.
The construction of the hospital’s six-storey building for the accident and emergency department was halted due to insufficient work by the contractor, the health ministry said.
It is noteworthy that the suspension decision was taken by the Ministry of Health on the advice of the Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau (CECB).
However, Link Engineering company has appealed to the Secretary of the Ministry of Health for permission to proceed with the construction of the building.
“The Ministry of Health has recovered the advance paid to the contractor through the Corporate Branch of the Bank of Ceylon’s Credit Cooperation Division,” a senior ministry official said.
Meanwhile, the X-ray, chest, speech, psychiatric and physiotherapist sections of the Kalmunai Ashraf Memorial Hospital were demolished for the construction work.
Due to this the hospital is currently facing a massive space crisis amid the spread of the coronavirus.
“However, the government has now stopped funding such massive building constructions.
Therefore, if the construction of this building is to be resumed, the permission of the Cabinet will have to be obtained again, ”said a senior official of the Ministry of Health.