Central Expressway second phase will open on November 15 - Minister | Daily News

Central Expressway second phase will open on November 15 - Minister

Former government delayed work by 19 months

Highways Minister Johnston Fernando said that the second phase of the Central Expressway will be vested with the public on November 15.

The Minister was speaking at a ceremony to launch a project to plant 1,000,000 saplings along the roads countrywide as per the stipulation pledged in the Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa by planting a sapling at the second phase stretch of the Central Expressway from Meerigama to Pothuhera yesterday.

The ceremony commenced at the Meerigama Intersection of the Central Expressway. Over 200 saplings of Magul Karanda (Millettia pinnata) and Robarosiya (Tabebuia Rosea) saplings were planted along the road at the ceremony.

He said the work on the second phase of the Central Expressway should have been completed 19 months back if not for the deliberate delays caused by the constructor companies commissioned by the Yahapalana government which gave the tenders to their cronies. “If not for that delay, people would have been using this road for the past ten months. We had to cancel the contracts that had been given to such saboteurs and go before the courts against them. Now we can open this road on November 15 and vested it with the public.”

The Minister refuted allegation that the government was making use of suppressive emergency laws to rule the country, “Who is making these allegations? It is the very same people who had once made wild allegations that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was a leader who killed people and threw bodies to the crocodiles,”he said.

The emergency laws were activated to save consumers from being fleeced by black marketeers who jack up the prices of essential food items making use of the pandemic.We as a government are bound by the responsibility of protecting people and save their lives,” he said.

“We are passing an extra-ordinary time that needs extra-ordinary measures such as the activation of the emergency laws to ensure food security in the country. These laws are not forever but only for a short time till the prices reduce to their normal ranges. We cannot let a mafia of black marketeers to control the prices by starving people”, he said

Minister Fernando said the Opposition has nothing else to do but to criticize whatever measure the government is taking to protect people. “What is the use of a government if we cannot control this food mafia? We would not let them exploit people. We made the right decision to activate the laws of the Public Security Ordinance. The opposition could make wild allegations but people know the truth. People in this country know better the tricks of the opposition.

He said the Opposition organized rallies and protests and brought their supporters and activists to show numbers when the teachers had concerns of unsolved problems in their profession. That tactic they employed to prevent the government leading the country to the list of top ten best countries in the world that countered the pandemic. They wanted to sabotage our target by increasing the number of dead. We could have brought about emergency laws to suspend those protests, but we did not do so.

Asked to comment on the progress of the vaccination programme, the minister said: We as a nation have performed well and world leaders and WHO experts have lauded the government for its vaccination drive. It was delayed for some time because Sajith Premadasa and his men created a fear among people. Premadasa alleged that the government was trying to convert the country into a large lab for testing vaccinations. He said those vaccines have not yet been properly tested conducting human trials. He used social media to instill fear among people against vaccines. He said that those who get vaccinated will die in two years and predicted various after effects. They still do so. I saw a doctor connected to the opposition spreading false information about vaccination drives. While we and the President are trying to make the vaccination drive a success, Premadasa and his men try to sabotage it. Their only wish is to grab power even at the cost of lives of people. 

Add new comment