May 06, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s road development bureaucracy is
hugely overstaffed and a drain on public funds and unable to
effectively maintain the island’s road network, a senior government
official says. Sirisena Amarasekera, secretary, ministry of highways and road
development, says there are around 10,000 people, including
maintenance workers, in highway and road development institutions in
the island to manage 11,000 kilometres of highways.
By contrast, India, with over 66,000 kilometres of highways, has only
700 in its National Highways Authority (NHAI).
Amarasekera says Sri Lanka’s state highways institutions spend over
200 million rupees a month on highway maintenance of which a major
share is spent on salaries and wages.
“â€¦so what is left for the material and machinery is very limited and
that is why the roads are in bad condition.”
Amarasekera was speaking at a recent news conference to announce an
agreement between NHAI and Sri Lanka’s Road Development Authority
The five year agreement covers technical and scientific cooperation in
the fields of highway construction, maintenance and management of
roads, a statement by the RDA said.