The Colombo Municipal Council has passed a proposal allowing a private firm to charge Rs.400 per hour per child to access the children’s parks to be constructed at Colombo Viharamahadevi Park and Mutwal Crow Island Park.
The proposal has been submitted by the United National Party (UNP) to the Financial Committee, to be initiated as a Private Public Partnership (PPP) and it was passed in the council session with majority votes on August 24.
UNP and SLFP councillors had voted in favour of the proposal while the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) councillors strongly rejected it.
The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) was absent when the vote was called.
According to the proposal, construction of the two play areas will be done by the private firm who will make a payment of Rs. 10,000 monthly as rent to the Colombo Municipality.
A private firm will undertake construction of play areas at the two parks.
Rs. 100 will be charged from children between ages five and 10 years for 15 minutes per head.
The JVP councillors had objected to the proposal.
JVP Councillor Hemantha Weerakoon said it was unfortunate that a government body such as the CMC that is earning a net income of Rs. 16,000 million per annum, was attempting to find money from children’s leisure activities.
He questioned as to what was provided by the Colombo Municipality to the public for free.
“We objected the proposal as it was a violation of the CMC ordinance to implement such a proposal. It is also not ethical to charge from children’s leisure activities. According to the proposal, a child between 5 to 10 years has to pay Rs. 100/- for 15 minutes. Can a child stop playing within 15 minutes. Then how much would it cost the parents, if this proposal was implemented,” he said.
When contacted, CMC Commissioner V. K. Anura said he was not aware of the proposal.
Categories: Local News