A Chinese investor has come forward to build Sri Lanka’s first township development project on a reclaimed land in the sea.
The project would be built next to the ongoing Colombo South Harbour Development Project and a total of 575 acres would be filled. Dr. Priyath Wickrama, Chairman Sri Lanka Ports Authority said that the unique feature of this investment would be that Sri Lanka would not have to pay a ‘single cent’ for this.
He said that currently there is a delay in obtaining sand clearance permits and when this is overcome the project would get underway next year. He said that the investor would be offered 57.5 acres that too on a long term lease in view of his investment. The total project is valued to be over US $ 950 million.
“We are hoping to lease or sell the remaining acres to several local and foreign developers, hotel chains and investors after calling for international tenders,” he said.
He emphasized that in no way the view of Galle Face green would be affected and said that a long road would be built to this reclaimed property. Dr. Wickrama said that several international universities, apartments and hotel chains have expressed interest in this project. “Our aim is to make this an up market venue,” he said.
A mini-golf course, a Formula One race track, a small yacht marina and areas for water sports will be created. “Events like night races, musical shows and other similar events could be held here which would attract additional tourist arrivals to the country and generate more revenue,” he said. Dr. Wickrama said that Sri Lanka being an island nation, maritime activities play a vital role in her socio economic status. Similar to many other maritime nations who develop their maritime activities to enhance their national economy, Sri Lanka has taken steps to harness the potential offered through its locational advantage to develop into a key maritime and logistics centre in the region.
In the country’s economic performance, the service sector such as trade, financial services, telecommunications, road transport and the port services has been the dominant factor contributing a significant percentage to the GDP.