Thursday, April 18, 2024

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President reviews proposed city development plans

The government’s ambitious plans of city development have been reviewed in the wake of countries present economic headwinds compelling the authorities to consider their development priorities.

Urban development plans for several major cities were presented to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat on Thursday.

The Urban Development Authority (UDA) in collaboration with line agencies has planned the development targets of the country in line with the Government’s initiatives and the development of major cities in a manner that will attract local and foreign tourists.

Under the first phase, Special Economic Zones (SEZs) will be developed in Galle, Bandarawela, Ratnapura city centre and Thimbirigasyaya, Fort, Pettah and Kollupitiya. Giving priority to the green city concept, it has been designed attractively with all amenities.

The new plan includes a number of facilities including widened roads, parking facilities, pavements, shopping complexes, and solar-powered street lighting systems.

In implementing the plans, the President emphasised the need to preserve historic sites situated in the selected cities and to preserve old buildings in a manner that would attract the attention of the public.

Sri Lanka has experienced significant improvements to available infrastructure which has been recognized as a national priority by the government.

These include an ambitious program to develop and completely upgrade seaports around the island, the international airports, roads in the city of Colombo and highways connecting to other parts of the country and power and telecommunication facilities.

The government has resumed a number of urban development projects that were abandoned during the previous government’s tenure.

It has reviewed the progress of development projects to be implemented and currently underway under the Urban Development Authority.

It has been revealed a number of development projects had been abandoned during the last five years of the previous government and he instructed them to restart a number of projects that had been abandoned.

The government wil also pay special attention to urban development, coastal conservation, waste disposal, and community sanitation activities.

In addition to the revenue earned by the Urban Development Authority for all projects, the General Treasury should also allocate the necessary funds, official sources said.

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