Spotlight on Colombo Port City as construction work continues (Special Report)

Spotlight on Colombo Port City as construction work continues (Special Report)

Written by Staff Writer

11 Feb, 2015 | 10:15 pm

Construction work at the Colombo Port City commonly known as the Port City is continuing unabated.

Cabinet Media Spokesperson Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne speaking to News1st on Wednesday stated that there is no issue with the Environmental Impact Assessment carried out on the project.

However, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna has reiterated that it will take all possible steps to ensure the scrapping of the project, which became a major talking point in the run up to the presidential poll.

The Chinese company responsible for the construction of the project, in a News1st exclusive, said that the construction is getting underway as planned.

Construction work on the development project which is constructed artificially in the ocean area outside the city of Colombo commenced on  September 17, 2014.

An area no lesser than 575 acres stretching from the coast of the Colombo Harbour on 233 hectares up to the Galle Face Green is being constructed through land reclamation from the sea.

One hundred and seventy (170) hectares of this area has been identified as that which could be developed. Of this, 63 hectares has been excluded for public facilities such as waterways, pathways and parks.

This also includes luxury hotels, housing schemes, shopping facilities, docks and cycling paths. The project carried out by CHEC Port City Colombo Pvt Ltd, is being facilitated at a cost of $ 1337 million

Thereby, it has been agreed that the investor shall receive 108 hectares of this land.

During the run up to the recently held presidential election,members of the new government, criticised the port city project.

Several days after assuming power, on January 21, the government, established a committee, with cabinet approval, to review the project.

The committee chaired by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, also included Ministers Patali Champika Ranawaka, Rajitha Senaratne and Arjuna Ranatunga.

Meanwhile, following a visit on February 5  by Chinese special envoy and Deputy Foreign Minister, Liu Jiang Chao, the Cabinet Spokesperson adopted a different tack regarding the port city project.

However, environmentalists continue to claim that the continuity of this project will cause several adverse environmental effects.

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