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Port City Development Project SL Govt would have to invest in infrastructure facilities – Megapolis Minister

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This was executed as a private investment project. US $ 1.4 billion was invested to reclaim land from the sea
We initially planted palmyrah trees at Galle Face but they all died, and only the kottamba trees seem to survive in that condition
By 2025, we have a few targets. We will build a marina. That is a yacht service. Besides, China Harbour will invest US $ 1 billion for the financial centre

By Kelum Bandara
Reclamation for the Port City is to be completed by the first quarter of next year, Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Patali Champika Ranawaka said.

Ranawaka went on to say that the project could not be considered a solely Chinese project as the Sri Lankan government would have to invest in infrastructure facilities connected to the reclaimed land.

Information relating to the allocation of land for development purposes would be released this month, he added.

“This was executed as a private investment project. US $ 1.4 billion was invested to reclaim land from the sea. The investor is China Construction and Communication Company. China Harbour Engineering Corporation is the contractor. The project was designed by leading experts. Above all, the site is in need of water supply and electricity connections. Also, we need a mechanism to drain out rainwater and sewage disposal. Only the Sri Lankan government is making an investment in this regard.”

An artificial canal is also to be constructed, with work completed in time with the reclamation. The Minister stated that officials were in the midst of determining which trees should be planted along the gardens on either side of the canal

“We initially planted palmyrah trees at Galle Face but they all died, and only the kottamba trees seem to survive in that condition.”

Speaking of roadways connecting the reclaimed land to Colombo, the Minister said that a transport link would be established between the Port City and the Kelani Bridge.

“There will be a bridge parallel to the present Kelani Bridge that will connect with the Katunayake expressway. The Katunayake expressway is anyway going to be linked with the other network of expressways in the country. We will construct an elevated highway linking up the proposed new Kelani Bridge with the Port City. From Chaitiya Road, we will build an underground highway up to the Kollupitiya railway station.

There is a light rail system lined up connecting suburbs such as Malabe, Battaramulla, Rajagiriya, Borella, and D.R. Wijeywardene Mawatha. It will be linked up with the Pettah Multimodal Transport Hub. For all these, the Sri Lankan government will invest.”

The Sri Lankan government will own 62 hectares of land in the Port City allowing it to line up funding for these investments by leasing out lands.

“By 2025, we have a few targets. We will build a marina. That is a yacht service. Besides, China Harbour will invest US $ 1 billion for the financial centre. It is a sixty-storeyed building and there will be three towers.

With the involvement of the Sri Lankan government, there will be an international school, hospital and a convention hall.

After 2025, there will be facilities for amusement and a housing scheme. The international financial centre is the most important one. It was only after World War 1, that the idea for an international financial centre came up. Switzerland did it for the first time. Actually, Swiss banks hold US $ 2.5 trillion as deposits.

It accounts for one-third of the global offshore savings. Switzerland, as a mountainous country, has the advantage,” he said.

According to the Minister, Sri Lanka is to target the super-rich of India to deposit their wealth in the Colombo International Financial Centre.

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