14th March 2012, www.ft.lk, By Uditha Jayasinghe
Tenders have been called by the Defence Ministry for the US$ 213 million World Bank-funded project to give Colombo a major facelift that aims to minimise floods and beautify the capital.
Titled the Metro Colombo Urban Development Project, the Defence and Urban Development Ministry is focusing on flood control and water front management, medium and small scale infrastructure development as well as institutional building up of local authorities.
The project received Cabinet approval in May 2011. The newspaper advertisement also details the formulation of an integrated strategic urban development programme for metro Colombo and a feasibility study on a solid waste management system for the capital.
According to the Environmental Management Framework (EMF) compiled by the Moratuwa University in December 2011, the project will cover areas under the Colombo Municipal Council and the peripheral local authorities that include the Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte Municipal Council (SJPKMC), Dehiwala Mount Lavinia Municipal Council (DMLMC) and Kolonnawa Urban Council (KUC). All these institutions will be improved under the project.
The flood control and water front management component includes Beira Lake restoration and creation of linear and nodal parks, construction of Baddegana biodiversity park, restoration and creation of six lakes in the upper catchment areas parliament and fifteen projects to minimise flooding.
Colombo Canal rehabilitation, road improvement, water-based transport improvement and real-time flood monitoring and forecasting are also under the project.
Under infrastructure development, R.A. de Mel Mawatha and Galle Road will be upgraded along with roads in Dehiwala, Mt. Lavinia, Kotte and Kollonawa. In addition Town Hall Square will be improved along with pedestrian overhead bridges at Collpetty and Bambalapitiya. A Marine Drive promenade with Leisure Park and waterfront recreational park in Crow Island are also planned.
Pavements of 10 main roads in Colombo will also be improved, said the tender notice, adding that the construction of 15 toilet complexes are also in the pipeline.
The World Bank will fund a feasibility study on solid waste management system for Metro Colombo as part of the project.
The EMF report also warns that impacts on wetland ecosystems and biodiversity, socioeconomic effects, water and air quality, soil erosion and siltation and traffic jams would be negative effects during the project implementation.
“These impacts, though occurring in most of the sub-projects, will vary in extent and significance, hence individual assessment is of utmost importance,” it said.
Related Info :
• Elevated Highways to Ease Colombo Traffic in Sri Lanka. 3 Roads Connect to Expressways Out of the City
• Colombo Outer Circular Highway Second Phase to Begin on February 18. 28km Beltway is to Ease Traffic Congestion of Sri Lanka's Capital