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Government goes ahead with countrywide mega infrastructure push: President

By: Staff Writer

February 27, Colombo (LNW): Sri Lanka Government has set apart public investment for economic development and infrastructure investment, particularly focusing on the master plans for strategic tourism zones in the Eastern Province, the Colombo City and the Western Region and Greater Hambantota, President Ranil Wickremasinghe outlined.

At a top level meeting, the President emphasised the economic potential of Hambantota, envisioning it as a pivotal hub for infrastructure development and connectivity.

He highlighted plans to link Hambantota to the Myanmar port, with further extensions anticipated up to Chongqing in eastern China and down to Africa.

President Wickremesinghe stressed the importance of leveraging the extensive investments already made in infrastructure in Hambantota, despite previous challenges.

“We have spent a significant amount on infrastructure here, and despite facing crises, it is imperative to capitalise on these investments,” remarked President Wickremesinghe.

He disclosed plans for allocating thousands of acres of land for investment zones, with additional acquisitions sought in the Monaragala area.

Moreover, the President advocated for strategic expansion into new areas, including Avissawella and Eheliyagoda, to alleviate urban congestion and foster new city centres. Plans for a North Colombo port expansion and potential industrial and IT parks were also discussed, aiming to attract investments and spur economic growth.

The development of Trincomalee as a major investment zone, in collaboration with India, emerged as a priority during the discussion. President Wickremesinghe announced plans for a joint working group to implement development initiatives in Trincomalee, emphasising the importance of bilateral cooperation in driving economic growth and regional stability.

The President’s Media Division said Wickremesinghe’s remarks underscored a strategic shift towards targeted infrastructure development, emphasising the pivotal roles of Hambantota and the Eastern Province in economic growth and positioning it as a key player alongside Colombo in Sri Lanka’s development trajectory.

“The 21 billion is not the value of the projects that is the land value. You have to multiply the land value by five times,” including the real estate additions and renovations the sites and lands are undergoing, and are proposed to undergo in the future.

It has been planned to implement 27 projects in Colombo lands with the value of Rs21 billion. Some are bare lands, some are developed properties, like the Gafoor building in Pettah, the Galle Post Office, the Bogambara prison in Kandy, which are meant to be preserved for conservation purposes, but can also serve as valuable tourism properties.

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