Friday, 23 August 2019 06:14

City developed more in past 4 years than in past sixty - PM

Colombo City has been developed to an extent over the past four years more than it has ever been in the previous six decades, Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe claimed yesterday when he inaugurated a commuter boat service on the Beira Lake, Colombo.

The Navy operated boat service will carry 50 commuters from a jetty near Union Place to the Beira waterfront jetty in Fort in a 10-minute ride. The commuter boat service will begin operations shortly and will be a free public service for the first month. The authorities hope that the boat service could help ease the traffic congestion in central Colombo by providing an alternate commuter route across the Lake.

The PM said that it has been the aim of the government to make the metropolis the best and the most beautiful city in the South Asian region once again.

“Today, we see a beautiful city in Colombo. This city has been developed for 50-60 years without proper plans. Though others were claiming the credit, I must say it was Minister Champika Ranawaka and his ministry who developed the city properly during the past four years,” he pointed out.

The Prime Minister also said all the infrastructure development was done with the aim of attracting a huge local or foreign investment within the next five years and thereby setting up an export-based economy in the country.

Minister Champika Ranawaka said that those who are in charge of the administration of the city of Colombo must be more responsible in fulfilling their duties rather than blaming others.

He said the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) should be ashamed for not properly maintaining the sewage and rain water drainage systems in the city. “It is the officials of the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation who worked to find solutions to the garbage problem in Colombo,” Ranawaka said adding that none of the responsible CMC officers could spend their time to find solutions.

The minister promised that the affiliated institutions of the Megapolis and Western Development Ministry unlike the CMC would work in a very responsible manner regarding the garbage matter thus avoiding a tragic situation like Meethotamulla. “The SLLDC, during next one and a half years period, will completely clean the Beira Lake after about 200 years, he also said.

Providing a smart solution to the traffic congestion in the metropolis, a passenger boat service from Colombo Fort to Union Place was launched under the patronage of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday.

The boat service is implemented and maintained by the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation (SLLDC) in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Navy. This project is a concept of Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka. The investment for the entire project is Rs. 100 million and money has been allocated by the SLLDC out of its profits earned under the present government.

The passengers will be able to reach the terminals at either end within 9-10 minutes, whereas it takes about 30 minutes by road. Two air-conditioned boats, designed and built by the Sri Lanka Navy with a capacity of 50 passengers each will be in service.

(Daily News)

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