by Lalith “saku” Armbapolla
Residents in the historic Heritage City – Kandy are disappointed and disturbed in the manner in which the Kandy Municipal Council Heavyweights in the Council deliberately having things their own way with the support of some of the elected members to gain personnel benefit and making a good deal of the mismanagement and malpractices of the council.
The act is very damaging n particular to the residents of Kandy who have had a very peaceful life over five decades, besides brining undue disrepute to Mayor who has taken over for the first time with inadequate experience.
It is very sad to say the residents of Kandy are in tears, in fact, have been cascading in anger than sorrow. Residents are angry for several reasons with the Municipal Council, Specially with the newly elected unqualified members, and a few of the administration staff members in the capacity of the Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, Secretary, Chief Accountant Chief Engineer, Officer in charge of the Car Park because initially they are unfit to hold such posts in office. Most of them have become very revengeful, with ulterior motives to make hay when the sun shines, in the good old days it was between two political parties the SLFP or UNP now after these newly formed fancy parties Muslim Congress has come forward to disrupt the smooth running of the council, but now there are no JVP or CWC members.
Some of the new members due to sheer ignorance and inexperience to comply with the instructions of the Council or with ulterior motives are involved in various malpractices. They surely, that should have been, under normal circumstances be defended by the council without jumping the gun and playing fiddle to unscrupulous politicians who is waiting for the right moment not to be second to the most powerful council. I am sure this politician knows whose credentials are respected and would carry weight to hide the council greatest cover up, it is said some members are cutting others throat without their knowledge. The Muslim Congress member is a miss fit, is out with a news paper and is disgracing and cutting his own college mates., and threatens the planning department boss and gets his work done same with the works department etc., and if you don’t do, it will be in my paper called “Mahanuwara”. The he is involved in two unauthorized buildings in town no street lines no plans, (One is at the cross street junction in front of Sri Ramaya Hotel and the other is at Kumara Veediya junction in front of the YMCA). Why is the planning department blind. The opposition leader, now talks big, he has forgotten what he did when he was the DN.
No one is bothered about the development of the Kandy city, the finest thing is the town is smelling and pavements are not safe to walk which is un even, no one is concerned about the public safety, but only a face lift by renovating the council at high costs and paving the pavements in front of the council are focused on, for which the Chief Engineer is well off, another is demolished a old building to come out with a new one, spent millions to renovate the Mayors official house, disregarding the logo fixed on the walls to preserve the ancient building and structures but this is now history and done for their individual perks, the chief Engineer is well off on these subject and sooner or later is bound to have funds in overseas banks. The administration is deteriorating fast because there are no council members who are aware of the Local Government system.
It s also said that today members have taken up a profitable business being a council member, like approving plans, getting involved in allocating shops for hawkers, they have a selected set of staff member specially the Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, Chief Engineer, Chief Accountant. It is said that most of the members and administrative staff who go behind to rate payers, like land brokers and help them for perks. If a proper plan is presented without influence it goes into the dust bin, if they approach the Deputy Commissioner the paln is passed without any problem of course with….., that too should be drawn by one of her favorites.,.. like the Architect who is in the Planning Department, (with a another one’s signature).
Works Department, Workshop (The Garage), Plannign Section, Accounts, Land section and the secretaries department together with the Car Park administration is in a mess, today cars and vans are parked in the park, and there are illegal activities happening within the premises, there need to go to a guest house or hotel today is not necessary instead the Municipal Car Park caters for the tuition class crowd to make love for a short time with the help of the attendants, who send their children to school and wait for the school over all are in the car park having good time.
Even the Perehera seating allocation this time had been mismanaged to suit individuals, where the Deputy Commissioner, Chief Internal Auditor and the Secretary Administration was involved and there had been malpractice to the highest order. Even some members had sold their allocated tickets to Europeans for very high US dollars. Unqualified members had gone in numbers with their friends and relations and forcibly sat on the seats reserved for staff members to view the ………………………………………… before.
The duty of an elected member and the administrative staff are to look into the needs of the rate payers, be polite, and helpful to them in resolving their problems or give good advices to their saticfaction instead of being hawks only to get than give. Ensure that the maintain the roads, pavements, and disposal of garbage in the right manner to benefit the rate payers and resolve their problems, all these are now in a mess and no one seems to be bothered. There are some quality members and staff in the council, but their talents are totally ignored and ruined. It is said that even a 15,000 rupee work is handed over to contractors some, who take the contracts are members and staff members. The Mechanical Department and the Fire Brigade is much to be remote area for unwanted affairs. Some cannot be control, so the best way the higher authorities undertake is to turn a blind eye to these happenings, because they are stooge’s and catchers of council members and some senior officers, these workers do thing the way want is they also know the short comings of their superiors.
In the early days, when people like E. L. Senanayke, Noel Wimalasena, Tilak Rathnayake, D. E. Pathirane, Harindra Dunuwille, Kessara senanayake, they never ever interfered in staff management, one must allow the staff to do their job, at the same time they must have a good commissioner with qualifications and experience who will lead from the front, simillary the Deputy Commissioner should also be of some standings to gather respect by the staff, now there are four to five Accounts and five Engineers, in the past there were only one Engineer who looked after the Works and the Water, and two accountants. All were qualified, and never fell into the politicians pocket. A rate payer goes to the Council at 1 p.m. the management staff has not returned from lunch, they are given only half of a hour, but they take nearly three hours where they finish the marketing and also schooling. Today most of the members are not fit to hold office, it is also the fault of the Parties for not picking good quality people., there is also a murder in the council few weeks back he was remanded for stabbing. Today members have become jokers of the Council most of them even don’t know their capabilities. At the monthly Meetings, they want only to raise there Voices, and get cheap publicity. They also fail to respect the first citizen, the senior and staff. Today some of the council members have become jokers like in the caliber of our Minister of Education Bandula Gunawardena.
Members have a hobby of trying to transfer good staff and get their catchers, who are blind in Local Government activates. It is very rare that a local Government staff gets a transfer, because the local government staff are only once who moves with the rate payers, they only get a transfer when there old and they need to go to their home town or after marriage. In the good old days when there was no Provincial Council, the Local Government staff were given a prominent place, today all politicians catchers are in top local government positions and they act like. Today even the fist citizen is no in a position to do a good job.
All those connected with this whole episode should understand that the purpose of our exposing these strange happenings is for the best interest of the council, and not to support the whims and fancies of certain individuals, politicians assisting for long time with the council to achieve and enjoy their likings at the expenses of the council. Its bad, sad and so silly and no great surprise that the controversy over the Council.
The blame-game for things getting to a point of no-return will doubtlessly continue to rage on. Depending on whom you speak to, the verdict will differ. But one ting is certain the KMC is going to get hurt real bad and by of all people in Kandy, it’s supposed guardians, on both sides of the fence. If the guardian’s role had been played out with greater sincerity, then the council should have not have been an issue.” God help the Kandy Municipal Council.”
When will this end, it will be when good people enter local politicians and get good quality Staff members.