During the last 11 years since the end of the 30 year war in Sri Lanka, steps have been taken to develop the country rapidly.Since countries like ours, a developing country in the Third World, never have the economic strength to bear the brunt of such a gigantic development process on their own, it is common practice to achieve those development goals with grants and loans from world powers.
An example of this is the Strategic Urban Development Program, which is being implemented in Anuradhapura under the loan assistance of the French Agency for Development (AFD).With the aim of transforming the country’s secondary cities into a well-developed city with a local vision, competitive and eco-friendly conditions with excellent inter-city connectivity; This is a program implemented under the Ministry of Urban Development, Water Supply and Housing.
The current progress of this development project was highlighted at the RTI Journalists’ Forum organized by the Sri Lanka Press Institute in July 2020. Accordingly, on September 15, 2020, we submitted an application to the North Central Provincial Chief Secretariat requesting information on the progress of the relevant project under the Right to Information Act.
Accordingly, the answer given to our first question as to what are the responsibilities and roles assigned to the North Central Provincial Council in the implementation of this development program is as follows
“The Project Regional Development Committee, including the officials of the North Central Provincial Council, has been entrusted with the task of coordinating the assistance required by other institutions for the project activities, for which the Provincial Council Institutions have the following responsibilities.
1. Coordinating project activities with the Ministry of Urban Development, Water Supply and Housing and Common Amenities
2. Guidance required to give the approval of the Committee for the implementation of the identified projects
3. Reporting the progress of the project
Accordingly, the Provincial Councils involved in the successful implementation of these activities are as follows.
1.Chief Secretariat, North Central Province
2. Anuradhapura Municipal Council
3. Road Passenger Transport Authority
4. Provincial Road Development Authority, North Central Province
5. Provincial Land Commissioner’s Department, North Central Province
6. Provincial Irrigation Department
In these institutions,
1. Chief Secretary / Deputy Chief Secretary (P), Deputy Chief Secretary (E), North Central Province
2. Municipal Commissioner, Municipal Council Anuradhapura
3. General Manager, Road Passenger Transport Authority, North Central Province
4. General Manager, Provincial Road Development Authority, North Central Province
5. Commissioner, Provincial Land Commissioner’s Department, North Central Province
6. Director, Provincial Department of Irrigation
are responsible for the duties performed by the officers in the above institutions.
According to the preliminary agreement, our inquiry into the progress of this program, which is scheduled to be completed on November 30, 2021, could not be satisfied and the North Central Provincial Chief Secretary’s Office has provided extensive information on two occasions which are believed to have been the cause. We hope to present the second part related.