36 programmes to control floods in Colombo: Champika

Published : 12:06 am  September 4, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 

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  • 70,000 individuals live in 900 acres of land
  • 20,000 housing units by 2020

 

By Thilanka Kanakarathna   

The Megapolis and Western Development Ministry has identified 36 programmes to control the flood situation in Colombo, Minister Champika Ranawaka said recently while addressing the Colombo Dialogue at New Town Hall. 
He said among those proposed, several programmes had already been initiated and would complete by the end of next year. 


“According to the programme, the construction work on three pump houses to control floods has commenced in Nagalam Street, Ambatale and the Southern bank of St. Sebastian canal,” he said. 

 
Speaking on a recent development project launched under the Megapolis Ministry, he said 113 government offices in Colombo and its suburbs would be relocated to a new site. 


“All offices, apart from finance departments, will be relocated to the new premises. The third phase of Sethsiripaya is under construction. It will be transformed into a 28-storey building. The fourth phase of the project will begin by the end of this year. The construction work of all State institution buildings will be completed by 2025. Among the key development programmes undertaken by the Megapolis Ministry are the Colombo  Port, Port  City and Beira  Lake projects, historical buildings and proposed transport hub in Colombo Fort and the Sea  City connected to Galle Face Green,” he said.  


zhgfdrhgjmOn a different note, the minister said the Beira  Lake would be completely dredged and cleaned-up within two years. 


“People will witness a positive change in public transport services with the introduction of the Light Rail. It will be operational by 2024 and usher in new experiences in urban rail transport,” he said.  


On the other hand, the minister said the priority bus lane concept adopted by the Megapolis Ministry to ease traffic congestion in Colombo was functioning successfully. He said a boat service would also be introduced in the Beira Lake. 


Pondering over the housing issue, the minister said some 70,000 individuals in 65,000 families lived in 900 acres of land. 


“The ministry has initiated eight housing projects under which 20,000 housing units will be developed by 2020. The slums around Beira  Lake have been removed and half of them turned into a liner park. The other area will also be turned into a park within one and a half years. The Urban Development Authority was bankrupt when we acquired it in 2015. It had debts amounting to a staggering Rs.39,000 million borrowed for beautification and development projects. However, we saved Rs.23,000 million last year by curtailing our expenses. We used this sum to develop the administrative city and to gift houses to low and middle income families. Overcoming all these challenges, the Megapolis Ministry has been able to launch the ‘Sukithapurawara’ project to construct 206 small cities in the middle of the country and another 1,500 small-scale projects around the country,” he said.     

 

 

The Urban Development Authority was bankrupt when we acquired it in 2015. It had debts amounting to a staggering Rs.39,000 million borrowed for beautification and development projects. However, we saved Rs.23,000 million last year by curtailing our expenses   

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