Friday, June 14, 2024

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Sri Lanka to transform Colombo with Singapore Company  

By: Staff Writer

Colombo (LNW): Sri Lanka is in talks with a Singapore based company to transform Colombo and give it a new look.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the vision to transform Colombo into a beautiful city is already in motion, with plans provided by Surbana Jurong.

Surbana Jurong Group is a global urban, infrastructure and managed services consulting firm, with over 70 years of track record in successful project delivery.

Headquartered in Singapore, the group has a global talent pool of 16,000 across Surbana Jurong and its member companies AETOS, Atelier Ten, B+H, KTP, Prostruct, RBG, SAA, Sino-Sun and SMEC, based in more than 120 offices in over 40 countries.

They include architects, designers, planners, engineers and other specialists driven by progressive thinking and creative ideas to help shape a better future.

President Wickremesinghe said that apart from Colombo, Surbana Jurong is also actively involved in creating a tourist zone from Verugal Aru to Batticaloa and Arugam Bay areas, contributing to the growth of the tourism industry.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe made these remarks at an international conference on Architecture, which was organized by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Chapter in Sri Lanka, in collaboration with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Italian Embassy of Sri Lanka, on the theme: “Architecture: A Lasting Impact,” held at Cinnamon Grand, Colombo.

Despite some challenges posed by the recent crisis, the commitment to progressing these plans remains strong, with the hope of securing the necessary support to meet the country’s developmental needs.

“Envisioning the future, the potential for architects to participate in the development of the Port City holds significant promise.

A notable portion of the Port City land is under Government ownership and is slated for diverse utilization.

The involvement of the private sector in this initiative offers an added avenue to harness architectural expertise. This exploration requires collaborative dialogues involving relevant chambers and stakeholders,” the President said.

“The Government land that’s worth more than the buildings can be used for this purpose and to relocate people from there and give the land to private companies to build affordable homes and apartments.

This will also free up space in Colombo for other developments. It’s like a cycle – more buildings, more possibilities. Imagine what could happen if they repurpose places like Welikada Prison or even the railway area.

Some buildings on Mount Mary can be kept, but the rest can be used for new projects. Many areas could benefit from this.

And the cost of land today makes it feasible. The Treasury is working on the details, so starting maybe next year or the year after, as the economy gets stronger, this could become a reality,” he added.

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