Harbour View

June 16, 2008 (LBO) – The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) is getting ready to make commercial use of its vast landholdings around the harbours in the island, some of which are now considered prime property. “We’ve structured a framework agreement by which we can use the land for public-private partnership projects,” SLPA chairman Saliya Wickramasuriya said. “It’s now going through policy approval stages.”

The SLPA intends to offer the land around its harbours to be developed by private sector property developers.

The move comes at a time when land prices in the island have been soaring.

There is an acute shortage of land especially in areas like the capital Colombo.

Wickramasuriya said the SLPA will offer land for investment through the island’s investment promotion agency, the Board of Investment.

“We will not lease or sell the land but subscribe the land as equity at commercial valuations and SLPA will be a silent partner in private-public ventures.”

The authority owns around 20 acres of land around the Beira Lake, a water body in the heart of the city connected to Colombo port.

Land around the lake is considered prime property, become highly expensive, and has for lon