In The Press
Colombo’s Port City, ‘city of the future’ rising from the sea
Xinhua – On the golden artificial beach in Colombo’s Port City, the Sri Lankan Sanjeewa Alwis was earnestly “building” a sandcastle model similar to the financial center building that will be built in Port City.
Noticing Alwis’ “masterpiece” on the beach, three Sri Lankan kids playing by the sea rushed to him to jointly build the sandcastle.
While listening to Alwis, who talked about the sandcastle that was “piled up” from the sea, one curious girl asked, “Can a city be ‘piled’ in the sea? What will this city rising from the sea look like in the future?”
Alwis, who is a project engineer working at China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC)’s Port City Colombo project, has been working here for five years.
The Port City Colombo project, located near Colombo’s central business district, is a large-scale investment project jointly developed by the CHEC and the Sri Lankan government. It is regarded as a model of cooperation between China and Sri Lanka in jointly building the Belt and Road.
Alwis has witnessed the construction of the project since it began. He went to China to study electrical engineering and automation for six years at Tsinghua University in the 1980s.
“I am very proud to be working as part of a Port City project, to (help) build my home country with the knowledge I have got from China,” said Alwis.
In the early stage of construction, one of his tasks was to coordinate with relevant departments of the Colombo government.
To ensure the smooth progress of the project, the construction site needed at least two water sources. With Alwis’ efforts, the project finally got the sources. “Whatever we are doing now will be a sample of Sri Lanka’s future,” he said.
In January 2019, the reclamation project was completed.
“The completion of the reclamation project not only marks the progress made in the overall construction of the Port City project, but is also a demonstration of Chinese solutions and technologies on the world stage,” said Zheng Hao, deputy project manager of CHEC’s Port City Colombo project.
With the completion of land reclamation, a series of new facilities have been built, including a central park, an artificial beach, a sports training center, a marina and a footbridge.
“Port City Colombo is the most promising project for our country,” said Sonala Gunawardana, chairman of the National Library of Sri Lanka.
Tharaka Samarasingha, a young Sri Lankan photographer, said that “I am proud of the expansion of our territory after land reclamation, which will be one of the most important parts of our children’s future.”
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- The World Cities Summit 2022