Construction of North, East bridges awarded outside tender procedure

The government has awarded the construction of 15 bridges in the North and East, to the British firm Mabey Johnson, sidestepping tender procedure, on a proposal by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said that the Cabinet of Ministers had decided to override tender procedure to expedite work.

"However, the Cabinet decided that tenders should be called from local contractors for work related to other elements of the construction process."

He said that four of the bridges will be built on the outer circle the Trincomalee road, six on the Seruwila-Somawathi road and five on the Puttalam-Mannar road.

Given the prevailing security situation, the Cabinet of Ministers also granted approval to a Memorandum submitted by Power and Energy Minister W. D. J. Seneviratne, to rehabilitate the trans mission line from Kilinochchi to Jaffna, by upgrading and reconstructing the protection scheme of the 220KV transmission line and transformers in the CEB power system, Yapa said. "Once normalcy is restored, the 67.2km Lynx double circuit 132KV transmission line from the Kilinochchi Grid Substation to the Chunnakam Grid Substation will be reconstructed with Zebra conductors. In addition the 132/22KV Grid Substation at Chunnakam will be reconstructed with 2x31.5 MVA transformers and eight 33KV distribution feeders.

He said that among the other decisions taken by the Cabinet was to revise the cost of Stage I of the project to relocate the Bogambara Prison in Pallekele on a proposal submitted by Justice and Law Reform Minister Amarasiri Dodangoda. "The new cost estimate, based on contingencies, price escalation and VAT will be Rs. 507,647,722."

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