‘Maharagama upgrade still on’ | Daily News


‘Maharagama upgrade still on’

Twenty large-scale development projects, 206 small-scale development projects and 1,500 mini development projects will be undertaken by the Megapolis Ministry, said Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka.

The minister was speaking at the launch of the Boralesgamuwa Wewa development project yesterday. The project costs Rs. 321 million and is being coordinated by Maharagama Urban Councillor Dhanushka Ramanayake. The Land Reclamation and Development Authority and the Irrigation Department will implement the project which includes a jogging track, 2.4km-long granite wall around the tank and street lamps.

Minister Ranawaka said that initially the tank was cleaned. “The rest of the project will be completed in the next one-and-a-half years. Some people thought that development in Maharagama would come to an end. But the truth is that we will implement all the projects. We have already commenced the construction of the Nawinna bus stand and car park. The construction of the Kottawa bus stand and Nawinna - Kottawa commercial centre will also begin this year.”

The minister said the Megapolis Ministry has commenced all the projects that it took over. If the Colombo Port City project continued without an environment assessment certificate and if ownership of land was given to foreigners as the previous regime decided on, it would have been a threat to Colombo.

“It is pointless to place flowerpots along the roads in Colombo. We need to repair the 160-year-old sewage system in the city,” Minister Ranawaka said. “During the previous regime, the sewage pipes in Colombo were diverted to the Beira Lake. Now we have to clean the lake.”

He also said that the cleaning of the Beira Lake would be a priority project. “We have been able to evacuate the slums around the lake without forcible eviction and also without sending white vans.”

The minister said that the Urban Development Authority was in a debt trap of Rs. 39,000 million by 2015. However, by end 2017, the UDA could save Rs 23,000 million. This amount would be invested in the development of Battaramulla administrative city, to provide housing units for the shanty dwellers.

He also added that the monorail project would begin next year. 

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