- Sooriyawewa Pallekele Kettarama
By Frederica Jansz
Financially bankrupt Sri Lanka Cricket is to commission the three forces, Army, Navy and Air Force to help it maintain three cricket stadiums – Sooriyawewa, Kettarama and Pallekele.
Top officials at SLC said that the cash-strapped institution cannot continue to handout Rs. 4.5 million each month to maintain these three stadiums. The maintenance cost for each stadium is Rs. 1.5 million.
Riddled with controversy and some 7.2 billion rupees spent to build Sooriyawewa, renovate Kettarama and rebuild Pallekele in time for the Cricket World Cup 2011, a decision is to be made to hand over the three stadiums to the military to maintain and provide security.
The Sri Lanka Navy is to be given Sooriyawewa to maintain, the Army – Pallekele and Sri Lanka Air Force – Kettarama.
Sri Lanka Cricket has been rocked with allegations of fraud and short-sighted management policies including political interference that has led to its current predicament.
The building of the new stadium at Sooriyawewa and all other major infra structure works were handled by contractors appointed by the government and not by Sri Lanka Cricket.
According to Secretary SLC, Nishantha Ranatunge the contract to build Sooriyawewa went to the Sri Lanka Ports Authority.
In an interview with this newspaper he claimed he did not yet have final figures which would detail how much exactly it cost to build Sooriyawewa. (see pages 12 and 13 for interview)
Our investigation however found the initial estimate stood at Rs. 2.4 billion. Later costs escalated and the final bill for Sooriyawewa exceeded four billion rupees.
The refurbishment of both Pallekele and Kettarama were handled by the State Engineering Company.
Initial estimates to renovate Kettarama stood at Rs. 1.3 billion and Rs. 900 million to complete Pallekele.
SLC had budgeted one billion rupees as their share for Sooriyawewa (though it was going to cost much more), Rs. 1.3 billion for Kettarama and Rs 900 million for Pallekele. That Sri Lanka Cricket is now left to cough out the entire cost for the Sooriyawewa Stadium is one of the reasons for the financial crunch. A rough estimate of the costs to be incurred for the three stadiums amounts to Rs. 7.2 billion.