Apr 03, Colombo: Under a presidential directive, the Sri Lankan government is to reclaim between 300-400 acres of sea land between the Colombo South Port Development project and the Galle Face Green in order to build a Port City at a cost of US$ 300 million.
The proposed offshore city, to be divided into three segments- business, residential and leisure, will be developed into a modern city with high rises, hotels, residential apartments, shopping malls, and other space to cater to the public needs.
The Ports and Highways Ministry says that of the 330 acres 200 acres of the City are to be either sold outright or given out on a long term lease to investors.
The government is hopeful of providing land to investors for leisure activities and international hotel chains. The government is to consider offering tax holidays and a 30-year lease on land to attract foreign investors. Local investors are also expected to invest in the new City.
The Ministry says that before filling of the reclaimed sea land for the new City commences, a second breakwater is to be built in front of the Old Parliament at sea level, which would serve as a buffer to the City.
Deputy Ports and Highways Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardana has already informed parliament that a feasibility study and an environmental impact assessment are underway by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority and the Moratuwa University.
The City will use construction resources from the Colombo Harbour Expansion Project, currently under construction near the site of this proposed city.
Hydraulic experts have validated the feasibility of reclaiming the sea land and concluded that it is unlikely to cause a harmful effect on the environment such as beach and land erosion but there could be a long term impact on marine resources. Land reclamation is expected to be completed by the end of 2012.
The Urban Development Authority is to prepare schematic diagrams for the new City after completion of the filling work.
Building this New Colombo City on Sea will be carried out in coordination with the Urban Development Authority, Colombo Municipal Council, All Service Ministries, and the Archaeological Department, the government has said.