Jan 30, Colombo: Sri Lankan authorities have asked some 500 families in the capital city of Colombo to relocate to make way for development work in the city.
Secretary of the Defense and Urban Development Ministry Gotabhaya Rajapaksa at a meeting with the families in Colombo has asked them to agree to the government's relocation programme.
He has been quoted in the media saying that the authorities would otherwise have to forcibly remove them by getting a court order.
According to Rajapaksa, most of the residents who have been asked to relocate are living in illegal constructions.
The residents have been presented with several options to choose for their relocation by the authorities.
The Cabinet had last year approved a proposal to give about eight acres of land around Slave Island bordering Malay Street, Justice Akbar Street and a railway track to TATA Housing and its partner SG 18 Advisors and Consultants (Pvt) Ltd.
TATA is entrusted to build 456 decent housing units with all facilities for the current residents in alternative lands in the same area within two years.
The land currently occupied by the shanty dwellers will be used after its release for a mixed development to create more opportunities for urban investments.