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Over 45 percent of reclamation work completed

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Over 45 percent of the reclamation work of the US $ 15 billion Colombo Port City project has been completed, CHEC Port City Colombo (PVT) LTD Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Liang Thow Ming said yesterday.

Addressing the media at the China Harbour Engineering Company LTD premises in Beijing yesterday, he said that reclamation work is in progress with three dredgers depositing sand to build up the land mass.

“We expect to complete reclamation work and marine structures by 2019. Initial infrastructure work and the construction of channel will be completed by 2020,” Ming said.

Meanwhile, the construction of beach, marina and the central park will be completed by 2021, while work on the International Financial Centre will be completed by 2023. According to the schedule, other construction work will be completed by 2026.

He said the port city project which was suspended for 16 months recommenced in October last year with the signing of a new tripartite agreement between Sri Lanka and China incorporating amendments emphasising the protection of the natural environment.

“There were misconceptions of the environmental damage. We had to produce an additional report to clear up the misunderstanding. We are concerned about the rules and regulations on the environment imposed by the government,” Ming said.

He said the new version of the Port City would be part of the Government’s Megapolis project and also of China’s development strategy of one belt-one road. The master plan has been approved by the UDA. Parks and open spaces have been accorded priority to promote a clean and green identity under the strategy of green and blue, he said.

“The project will focus on making Colombo the best livable city in South Asia and fostering growth in the country,” he said.

Ming said the revamped Port City project has been extended from the initial 233 hectares to 269 hectares. The project will be South Asia’s premiere residential, retail and business destination, offering unmatched planned city along the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, he said.

It will also create more than 83,000 jobs, he said.

The development will have two road connections creating an internal loop serving the master plan. These will link to a new underground tunnel for access to the South and a new flyover expressway, cutting the drive time from the airport to 30 minutes and connecting the expressway network to major cities in the country, Ming said.

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