Taking Care

Dec 29, 2009 (LBO) –Sri Lanka’s government must ensure adequate funding for road maintenance to prevent newly built and repaired roads deteriorating to previous levels, the Asian Development Bank has said. The bank, which has spent millions of dollars on roads in the island, said in a report its Road Sector Development Project (RSDP) had improved transport links and reduced costs for road users.

But the report, which assessed the performance of the project which cost about 102 million dollars mostly funded by an ADB soft loan, said some aspects were unsatisfactory and had not delivered the desired result.

Compliance with covenants on road maintenance financing and outsourcing routine and periodic maintenance with performance-oriented maintenance contracts is unsatisfactory,” it said.

Sri Lanka’s roads have suffered from years or decades of neglect and poor maintenance because of inadequate funds, most of which goes to pay an overstaffed and inefficient government bureaucracy.

Corruption in giving maintenance contracts which results in shoddy work is another reason.

The ADB said only 11 percent of the provincial road network of the project provinces was in good condition at