“Development projects serve no purpose if they fail to meet the basic needs of the people. My ascension to the office as the President will also become futile, if I am unable to deliver the primary needs of the people of this country,” President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said. The President made these remarks during a meeting with the members of the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka, held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday.
For many years, preparation of feasibility reports of development projects, construction supervision and the decision making have been done by foreign engineers. Projects led by them have failed to meet the needs of the people. The President noted that the culture of assigning development projects to foreign companies will be reverted and future development programs will be entrusted upon the local engineers.
The Government placed faith on the youth in the battle against terrorism. In the same manner, the President said that he will place his trust on the local engineers in the anticipated revolution of the construction sector, adding that the past era of renowned engineers from Sri Lanka should usher in this era too.
The engineers assured that they would shoulder the task of putting in place a local mechanism in the country, reciprocating the confidence placed on them by the President. The President said that he was deeply saddened regarding the current status of the State Engineering Corporation and the Government workshop, and added that the responsibility of rebuilding these institutions better than before, lies with the engineers.
The President noted that the challenges faced by the country at present, due to the COVID-19 crisis, are ten times greater than the challenges encountered when he took over the administration, and stressed that he would face the situation with even more vigour.
The President also highlighted the importance of the contribution of local construction companies and engineers in resolving the housing problem of low and middle income earners. The importance of renovating the tanks and irrigation system without damaging the original structure was also discussed.
“Developing the economy means raising the living standards of the people.” President Rajapaksa said that a development plan should be drafted with the aim of achieving this target.
The engineers also said they were confident that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa would lead the country in the right direction. Secretary to the President P.B. Jayasundera, Secretaries to Ministries, Heads of State and private institutions were also present at this discussion.