Sunday Times (Sri Lanka)

Colombo's Nawam Mw earmarked for developmen­t projects

- By Damith Wickramase­kara

The Urban Developmen­t Authority has targeted large tracts of land, including 28 acres in Nawam Mawatha, for sprawling mixed developmen­t projects, UDA Director General Prasad Ranaweera said.

Around 10 acres of this land will be used to put up high rise buildings to accommodat­e around 2,200 households, mostly low-income, that will lose their homes as a result of the project. The rest will be for a mixed developmen­t project – hotels and apartments.

While substantiv­e progress on the project will take place after the August 5 polls, with a Cabinet paper also due to be presented, the UDA has already started surveying the area, Mr Ranaweera said. It was not immediatel­y clear whether an investor had been identified.

More land is expected to be acquired on D R Wijewarden­e Mawatha, including the property on which the Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre and Bally’s Casino stand. There are also warehouses in that area. Some of the property has been leased out by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority and the terms are due to expire. Other lands belong to the UDA, Mr Ranaweera said.

Edifices like the warehouses will be shifted to Peliyagoda while suitable areas will be found in Colombo for institutio­ns such as the Convention Centre. There, too, the surveys have started. The vacated lands will have hotels and other mixed developmen­ts.

In this case too, a Cabinet paper will be presented after the elections and it is not known if an investor is already identified.

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