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Surbana Jurong continues Western, Eastern and Southern mega development plans

By: Staff Writer

April 25, Colombo (LNW): The government rehired the largest Singapore based consulting firm Surbana Jurong Private Limited towards providing one-stop consultancy solutions across the entire value chain of urbanisation, industrialisation and infrastructure domains in Sri Lanka.

In a reactivation initiative of ongoing and stalled development projects launched since 2017, Surbana Jurong is now reviewing its previous three key development plans the Western Region Megapolis Plan, Eastern Development Plan Centered around Trincomalee, and the Southern Development Plan with Hambantota as its hub.

A group of 12 experts from Singapore based consulting firm Surbana Jurong have arrived in the island to draw a municipal plan for Sri Lanka.

Director General of the Urban Development Authority Prasad Ranaweera said their work will focus on Hambantota on Thursday (25).The planning activities focused on Colombo and Trincomalee on Wednesday (24).

The municipal plans are to be drawn for the Western Province, Eastern Province and the Hambantota District in the Southern Province.Ranaweera said a report on city planning, projects and project proposals is due in six months.

The Singapore based consultancy firm is to expedite the project identification, planning and implementation of urbanisation and infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka to attract top-rung investors, a senior official of the Urban Development Authority said

Through this initiative Surbana Jurong intends to tap on and build up a core local Sri Lankan technical base to support it’s urban and infrastructure consultancy works in Sri Lanka.

A high level technical team from this  Singapore based leading firm in urban development and infrastructure consulting, visited Trincomalee on Wednesday 10 as part of an extensive review of Sri Lanka’s three mega polis plans for Colombo , Hambantota and  Trincomalee.

They have already paid field visits to review the progress of projects in Colombo and Gampaha districts this week. 

Sri Lanka’s ambitious US$40 billion Western Region Megapolis Planning Project (WRMPP) launched by the previous regime with the aim of re-developing the Colombo City and suburbs is now facing major obstacles in realising its 15-year vision, an official progress review report has revealed.

This project comprising 150 smaller projects will be revitalised in accordance with the present government’s vision and policy although the original plan may look good on paper, a senior Finance Ministry official said

Progress on these projects has been stalled due to the COVID-19 crisis, financial constraints and policy issues and is expected to be revised considering case by case basis based on the availability of funds, he disclosed.

It has been planned to establish a trade hub, a high-rise central business district including at least 60 new towers, a science and technology city, and a rapid transit system aimed at reducing traffic congestion in most populous Colombo City region.

The WRMPP has been planned to cover an area of 3,600 sq. km in the districts of Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara with the objective of reducing the unemployment rate from 4 to 2 per cent by 2020, and then maintain that rate until 2035 by creating 2.1 million employment opportunities.

Plans have been devised at that time for developing two tourist cities and improve living conditions of 70,000 families living in shanties and slums.

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