The Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera has instructed the officials of the Ministry of Environment to complete the Rs. 500 million projects under the Surakimu Ganga project in the first quarter of 2022.
A discussion was held at the Ministry of Environment last week on the identification of projects to be implemented next year under the Surakimu Ganga program. Speaking at the event, the Minister said that the government has allocated Rs. 2000 million for the Surakimu Ganga program next year.
The aim of the government is to conserve the river system of our country. Therefore, the Minister requested that new projects be proposed to conserve the river system by making maximum use of this money. The government has taken steps to allocate large sums of money to the Ministries through this year’s budget. The money allocated to the Ministry should be divided into four quarters and the money to be spent in each quarter should be spent.
The Ministry will receive the money due for the next quarter only if the money for the first quarter is fully spent. Therefore, the money allocated for the relevant quarter must be spent on each project, the Minister said.
The Minister of Finance has provided the required funds in response to my request for Rs. 2000 million for the Surakimu Ganga program. Therefore, we must spend Rs. 500 million in the first quarter of 2022. It is not an easy task. Therefore, all officers are required to carry out their duties 24 hours a day without delay.
The Covid 19 epidemic is no excuse not to work. For a large period of 2021, the country was forced to close due to the Covid 19 epidemic. So there were some mistakes. But the Covid 19 epidemic should no longer be a reason to stop working. We have no obligation to stay that way. We have to take into consideration the situation in the country. We must all work together to rebuild the country.
Therefore, we have to spend Rs. 2400 million this year, including Rs. 2000 million given to us next year and Rs. 400 million allocated for the year 2021. The Minister emphasized.
We will not receive even a penny of extra money next year. Maximum financial allocations have been made to the all Ministries. So we have to make sure we spend the money we are given. We should give priority to the Kelani, Walawe and Menik rivers this year. Other rivers provide funding for related projects. However, the Minister said that priority should be given to the cleaning of the Kelani River.