Sept 23, 2016 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s previous administration has spent only one million rupees for the feasibility study of the Mattala International Airport, a Minister revealed.
Deputy Foreign Minister Harsha de Silva pointed out that the then government has spent just one million rupees before wasting 350 million US dollars for setting up the emptiest international airport in the world.
“We actually wanted to find out who actually did the feasibility study for the Mattala Airport. I wanted to know whether such a person exists,” de Silva told a gathering.
“So there were some Aviation officials and I asked them who carried out the feasibility study.”
“One person said Sir, I did it. I didn’t know how to react and I asked how much is the consultancy or feasibility study cost before you putting USD350mn in this project.”
“He said only one million and then I asked, one million? That’s all? One million dollars that you put?”
“He said No sir (laughing), one million rupees.”
De Silva said unfortunately in the end now we have the dubious record of having the emptiest international airport in the world.
“We want to be clear about what we do; we should have a vision; but in implementing or achieving it we have to use our brain,” he said.
“So we don’t dump a quarter billion dollars in some airport; we must ensure that what is the right place to put the airport.”
De Silva however said that since the airport is there, they have to do what they can do to utilize it to the maximum possible.
He added that the Bandaranaike International Airport is going for a second phase upgrade with new terminal and it will be competitive with other regional airports once that is completed.