Feb 28, Colombo: Sri Lanka Supreme Court Wednesday withdrew an order preventing the re-development of Colombo's crowded residential Slave Island area.
A three-member bench comprising Chief Justice Mohan Peiris, Justice P. A. Ratnayake and Justice Priyasath Dep vacated an earlier order issued on September 13, 2012 that allowed the status quo of an eight-acre area to be maintained.
The order prevented the Ministry of Defense and Urban Development from launching the Slave Island Area Redevelopment Project which would provide 8 acres of land bordering former Education Department site, Malay Street, Justice Akbar Street, and Railway line on a 99-year lease to an Indian company to build over 450 housing units with all facilities for the current shanty dwellers in the area.
Vacating the earlier order issued in response to a petition filed by the residents, the Chief Justice emphasized the urgency in developing the capital city to upgrade the living standards of the low-income residents.
The Court advised all interested parties against the project to refrain from violence and stressed that perpetrators will be dealt with sternly.
The bench scheduled the next court hearing for April 04.
The redevelopment project that had been held up due to the earlier court ruling will now be resumed soon, the Ministry sources said.