Written by Devuni Goonewardene
28 Jul, 2018 | 12:26 am
Colombo (News 1st) – Railway employees staged a protest yesterday after their attempts to take over the ownership of a plot of land located in Maradana, upon which the Trace Expert city has been built, failed.
The plot of land in question which was owned by the railway department was taken under the preview of the Urban Development authority (UDA) in the year 2011. It was later leased out in 2015 for the construction of what is considered the largest technological city in the country Trace Expert City.
Trace Expert City was built on 7 acres of the 10-acre plot of land owned by the Urban Development Authority. The debate, however, is on the car park of Trace Expert City.
The detailed designing of the railway project funded by the Asian Development Bank, to be initiated in Colombo and its suburbs is currently underway. A request was made for this particular plot of land to be used as the site for the construction of the Colombo Railway control Centre and the Chief operations center.
A group of employees of the Railway department had attempted to separate the plot of land using a fence last evening.
Dr. Jagath Munasinghe, Chairman of the Urban Development Authority(UDA) stated that they proposed a better-suited location to construct the Railway control Centre rather than the plot of land used for the car park of Trace Expert city. However, during this negotiation, the employees had started opposing the deal and launched a Trade Union Action in order to gain ownership of the land.
However, when inquired, a senior official of the Railway project being implemented in Colombo and its suburbs said that cabinet approval has been granted for the construction of Colombo Railway control Centre and the Chief operations center. He added that the construction of the fence yesterday was done after all relevant stakeholders were informed.
According to the State Minister of National Policies and Economic affairs, Dr. Harsha De Silva none of the stakeholders had been informed of the decision. He noted that the Prime Minister and Minister Nimal Siripala weren’t aware that the plot of land in the plan was in the middle of the IT park. He went on to state that there should be a separate discussion on this as there is ambiguity on the awareness of the cabinet.
Dr. Harsha further states that, as the feasibility study is not due for some time and the loan is to be passed in 2019, the discussion should not be rushed and that they reasonably request for this to be done after discussions with minister Nimal Siripala and all other interested parties and after they are properly informed.
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