SLPA lets off gas on Mundo

by Kalinga Weerakkkody

The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) had made a claim that Mundogas Lanka Pvt Ltd., which occupies warehouse No. 01 adjacent to the Closenberg Jetty, Galle with an extent of 20,000 square feet has not paid its dues amounting to Rupees six million, as port charges, from the day Mundogas commenced operations, SLPA sources disclosed yesterday.

Mundogas chairman Ariyaseela Wickremanayake contacted for his comments, denied that his company was in arrears and asked how they could operate if payments had not been made.

The SLPA has informed the Mundogas company by letter on October 27, 2003, that SLPA officials at the Galle Port had noticed a gas leak, from the barge operated by Mundogas.

This leak the SLPA claimed has been due to a flange opening and blamed the staff attached to Mundogas.

Wickremanayake said that there had been no gas in that barge for the past two weeks and asked how a leak had been noticed when there was no gas.

SLPA sources said that they noticed a second gas leak in a gas pipeline from a tank and added that it was due to a crack in the pipeline.

The SLPA, sources claimed, had no acceptable agreement with Mundogas company. They added that Mundogas had failed to produce documents to the SLPA with respect of berthing facilities, loaded gas, certificate of fitness, the mandatory registration certificate, loadline, safety construction, safety equipment etc.

The SLPA officials warned that the situation in the Galle Port with regard to the operations of Mundogas, with leaks being notice was critical as it would endanger the safety within port.

They claimed they would hold Mundogas company responsible for any incident that would harm port workers, clientele and damage to any property of the SLPA.

Mundogas chairman Wickremanayake claimed that they have been able to break the monopoly in the LP gas market and the consumers now enjoyed gas at a lower price.

Wickremenayake said that at present Mundogas company sold a domestic gas cylinder for Rs. 495.