Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL), based on credible information, reports that Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) is facing an estimated loss of a staggering Rs. 140 million due to providing buses for the transportation of the general public to the rallies and meetings organized by the UPFA Presidential candidate former President Mahinda Rajapakse during the recently concluded Presidential election.
TISL have already written to the newly appointed Minister of Internal Transportation Ranjith Maddumabandara about this issue requesting him to obtain the due payments from the relevant parties urgently.
The SLTB currently has an operational fleet of 4600 buses and TISL have evidence that 2400, i.e. half of this fleet, was used for transportation purposes during the Presidential election campaign. On an average 500 to 600 buses were used to transport public to political meetings and on a few occasions as much as 1200 buses were used.
This arbitrary use of SLTB buses meant that the SLTB incurred a daily loss between Rs. 6 to 8 million as was verified by SLTB depot heads. This amounts to a total estimated loss of Rs. 140 million of which only Rs. 25 million have been recovered by the SLTB.
Transparency International Sri Lanka wrote to the former Secretary to the Ministry of Transportation Dhammika Perera a number of times about this matter but to no avail. However due to the massive amount due to the SLTB and the serious nature of the misuse of public resources, TISL insists that the payments due be obtained from the relevant parties immediately.