Section of 'Seemamalakaya' on Diyawanna has sunk

One side of the floating structure built by a private construction company on the Diyawanna Oya for use as a 'Seemamalakaya' by the Amarapura Maha Sangha Sabha, has partially sunk because of a snag in the construction, Project Director and Senior Engineer Shameera Jayawardane said yesterday.

The public-funded structure, which is mid way in the construction
process is a part of the company's Corporate Social Responsibility projects and is to be gifted to the Amarapura Maha Sangha Sabah when the construction work was completed next month.

"A mishap during the construction has resulted in the structure sinking. It may have been a fault in one of the four barges which keep the structure afloat.

Coincidentally, the Amarapura Maha Sangha Sabah is also constructing its new headquarters close to the Lake at Kimbulawala for use as a meditation and rest centre.

“The barges are first filled with water and sunk before construction. The water is later pumped out after construction is complete. The heavy rains must have damaged one of the barges,” Mr. Jayawardene said and added that it was only during the final stages of construction that problems had surfaced.

“It all went according to plan until we pulled up the structure to the surface. Unfortunately one barge did not come up as planned because of the mud from a nearby field. We cannot repair it at the moment as the water level is too high and the weather is still bad,” he said.

Sri Lanka Land Reclamation & Development Corporation (SLLRDC) Chairman Roshan Gunawardane confirmed that SLLRDC did not hold any responsibility for the project or the structure, once construction was complete.

Meanwhile, Megapolis and Western Development Minister Champika Ranawaka said the construction work was handled by Sanken Construction (Pvt) Ltd and that several individuals were using this matter to sling mud at him.

“It is a CSR project and nothing to do with the UDA, SLLRDC or the Megapolis Ministry,” he said.

However, Urban Development Authority (UDA) Chairman Jagath Munasinghe said the National Physical Planning Department (NPPD) had provided its architectural services for the 4,000 square foot structure which could hold a maximum of 200 individuals.

“The construction of the structure was entirely conducted by the engineers and employees of the private company,” Mr. Munasinghe said. (Thilanka Kanakarathna)