Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Patali Champika Ranawaka Monday launched the Beira Lake Intervention Area Development Plan which aims to restore the Beira Lake and turn it into the most scenic asset of Colombo by 2035.
Subsequent to the launch, the Beira Lake area will now be referred to as Ranmasu Pura.
The launching ceremony was held at JAIC Hilton Colombo, yesterday morning, with the participation of Singaporean experts facilitating the project, officials of the Urban Development Authority and other stakeholders.
The proposed zoning plan of the Urban Development Authority hopes to get the optimum economic value of the area and realize the highly livable and economically vibrant megapolis that the government has envisioned for the nation.
The financial support to the proposed zoning plan will be provided by the World Bank. The plan proposes to develop lands in the immediate vicinity of Beira Lake for hotels and tourism activities. Lands located near Vauxhall Street are to accommodate a leisure park for the public.
Addressing the gathering Minister Ranawaka said the Beira Lake area which was once a glorious economic hub in the country turned into an area full of anti-social activities.
The development plan hopes to clear away all nearby slum dwellings and control the chaos which prevails around the area and create a picturesque place for both locals and tourists.
The Ranmasu Pura Development Plan, prepared under the guidance of the Centre for Livable Cities Singapore. Singapore Corp. Enterprises Ltd., and Temasek Foundation and participation of Urban Development Authority officials will be implemented in five categories.
The plan will improve all lands around the Beira Lake to a higher level of productivity, control all practices that pollute the Beira Lake, plan the proposed development by safeguarding the natural environment, open and develop the lake Reserve to enable the locals and the foreigners to reach Beira Lake and to improve the facilities available for entertainment purposes, and enhance opportunities for local people to improve their income sources and promote economic progress.
Accordingly, Special Regulations have been prepared for the identified area under the Ranmasu Pura project.
The main object is to develop the Multimodal Transport Hub at Fort/Pettah area where the Beira Lake vicinity will become an important part.
�We have already called for proposals from investors for the first step of this Multimodal Transport Hub and the second stage of the project will start in 2018,” Minister Ranawaka said.
“By 2023, we will establish the Light Railway, the elevated highway and modernized railway facility, all of which will be interconnected with the proposed Multimodal Transport Hub.”
The area surrounding Beira Lake, which will be directly connected with this hub, will also be developed as the main economic area connecting with the Port City project, Minister Ranawaka added.
Minister Ranawaka said land development is the most important part of this project. There are lands owned by several government agencies and there is more land which belongs to both the government and private individuals or companies. Most of the government agencies, such as the Ports Authority and Lanka Sathosa, have agreed to release their lands for the proposed project. The Beira Lake Intervention Area Development Plan includes the systematic strategy to develop all these lands. The first stage of such land development will begin by 2018, he said.
Minister Ranawaka while pointing out that the people living in Vauxhall area will be moving out willingly to make space for the development project, commended President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for allocating Rs. 1300 million for the relocation program of the people. He also observed that this allocation expedited the Beira Lake development project.
Minister Ranawaka expressed his confidence that the development project will turn the Beira Lake area into a resource-park and a wealth-center which will become a gold mine that contributes the most to the development of the country.