Land sold against proper tender procedure taken over
November 8, 2019 07:39 pm
A 79 perch land belonging to the Wattala-Mabola Municipal Council, sold against the proper tender procedure, has been taken over upon the recommendation made by the Committee on Public Accounts (CoPA).
The committee had thanked the officials of the Western Provincial Council for restoring a large asset to the Government.
The officials were given the due credit for taking over the land at Committee on Public Accounts held in Parliament yesterday (07) under the patronage of Lasantha Alagiyawanna, the committee chair.
Though the land acquired by the Wattala-Mabola Municipal Council is listed as 79 perches, upon investigation the Committee on Public Accounts confirmed that the total land is approximately 9 acres. It was also revealed that the Auditor General’s Department had not discovered the exact location of 3 acres out of the 9.
Accordingly, instructions were issued to submit a report of the entire 9 acre estate owned by the Wattala-Mabola Municipal Council to the Committee on Public Accounts by the 11th.
Subsequently, the Survey Department was instructed to survey the land properly and submit a report to the Committee.
The Committee, in their recommendations, stated that this land is not a marshy land even though it has been designated as a marshy land thus action should be taken immediately to designate it as a land to increase the assessed value of the land.
The committee also directed that the land be used for public purposes if the area is in need or to lease out under the correct tender procedure.
The Committee on Public Accounts expressed their dissatisfaction over the loss of large amounts of money due to the continuous lease of land off the proper tender process by the Wattala-Mabola Municipal Council during the tenure of the present Chairman.
“Even though the Chairman of the Municipal Council had been summoned for the inquiry regarding the present lease of land, the committee was displeased with his absence under the excuse of being hospitalized” the release said.
It was instructed to make a request to the Governor of Western Province through the Committee on Public Accounts to re-appoint a committee chaired by a retired Judge to inquire and report regarding the Wattala-Mabola Municipal Council on leasing of land in a manner that is irregular outside the proper tender procedure.
Further instructions were extended to appoint three committees in all three districts of the Western Provincial Council to inquire the Irregularities in leasing and selling land and submit a report to the Committee of Public Accounts within 2 months.