UNP Colombo Mayoral Candidate M.J.M. Muzammil yesterday released his long-awaited election manifesto, giving a bird’s eye view of his plans for the city, including transparency to all investments.
The succinct policy document, which deals with a range of subjects, is divided into five categories. These are Housing and Infrastructure, Good Governance, Citizen Services, Livelihoods and Employability of the Youth.
Under the category of Good Governance, Muzammil has pledged to accessibility to the Mayor through a Public Day when citizens can voice their grievances. An information centre is to be established within three months that will showcase the projects in the city. The service will be provided in all three languages and have a mobile service as well for people who do not have access to the internet.
“All affairs of the Colombo Municipal Council would be made transparent. Financial Information and tender procedures would be available to the public through the web portal. The Colombo Municipal Council sessions will be open to the public,” the manifesto stated.
It added that the office of a Municipal Ombudsman will be created to entertain allegations of corruption, grievances and service shortcomings. Women will also be encouraged to take part in CMC activities.
It notes that 65,000 houses will be built for the poor by 2020 and 11,000 toilets will be built for houses in slum areas. All citizens will also be given pipe-borne water.
Other significant points include an advisory committee on finance, housing and infrastructure, medical services, education training and human resources, information services, transport, social and cultural integration, youth and senior citizens will be established to advise the mayor in drawing up comprehensive plans and provide assistance to CMC management in implementation, subsidised transport for senior citizens, rehabilitating drug addicts, CMC scholarships for unemployed youth with the assistance of the private sector, better sports facilities, municipal community halls that will be used as education centres, designated areas for street vendors and vocational training opportunities for the poor.
“The introduction of the Nano Taxi is systematically displacing the three-wheel taxi. While defending the right of every person to live and earn honourably, we will regulate the provision of high quality services. We will protect every three-wheeler taxi stand. And all three-wheel vehicles operating a taxi service within the city will be annually provided a free vehicle eco test. Our aim is to strengthen the economy at grass roots level, while protecting the environment. We will encourage the formation of radio-monitored three-wheel taxi cooperatives,” it said.
Extensive plans to beautify the city were also outlined by upgrading the sewage system, streamlining garbage collection, developing the transport system and reducing traffic as well as introducing cycle lanes.