Holding a press briefing today, giving the updates on the investigation in to the collapse of a seven storied building in Wellawatta yesterday (May 18), Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said that the Urban Development Authority (UDA) will extend the survey further in collaboration with the Census and Statistics Department.
He added that along the land stretch from Bambalapitiya to Wellawatta the UDA has detected over 1800 irregularly constructed buildings. The survey was conducted in 2007 when the authorities detected several misconducts in the institutes that issue permits to construct buildings. “But there are many difficulties these authorities face in detecting these irregular constructions and taking appropriate action against the owners,” he stated.
Further he added that the Wellawatta incident is a typical example of the current situation indicating the urgent need to re-evaluate the current system where permits are issued for new constructions. “There are many institutes entitled to issue permits to construct buildings. Yet there are questions about the conduct of these institutes. Despite all this, even with the limited human resource, the UDA will continue its survey to detect such unsuitable buildings and will take necessary action as stipulated in the law,” he explained.
Referring to the ongoing investigation on the collapsed building in Wellawatta Minister Ranawaka said that the owner has not given attention to critical details mentioned in regulations that imply to such a construction. “He has not even kept the safe distance from the Wellawatta canal,” he said.
“I requested the Chief of Police to take necessary action following the inquiry and not to hesitate to punish everyone responsible, according to the rule of law,” he said.
“We will take immediate action to rectify the mismanagement in urban development,” he added.