Jan 29, 2016 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Western Region Megapolis plan was unveiled with handing over of the plan ceremoniously to the President and Prime Minister at a special function in Colombo, Friday.
Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said the project will take Sri Lanka across the world as a developing nation.
“This is the first step that we are taking towards reaching developed country status and for this we need to come out of this hap-hazard urbanization, shanties, waste disposal and traffic congestion issues,” he said.
“The country has been losing educated people because of this and we need to tackle this, take the country and the economy forward and and create jobs.”
The Minister also said that the plan has four fundamental pillars; Economic growth and prosperity, Social equity and harmony, Environmental sustainability and Individual happiness.
“The main goal is to create jobs and investments through creating a dynamic regional spatial structure that promotes economic productivity, attracts investments, enhances business opportunities and creates jobs,”
Under the plan unemployment rate will be reduced from 4 percent to 2 percent by 2020 and maintained up to 2035 by creating approximately 2.1 million new employment opportunities.
It also envisages to increase the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contribution of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) from 50 to 60 percent and to promote high economic growth based on port, airport , logistics and tourism hubs.
Goal two will see the Western Region as a resilient region which protects natural environment and creates a balanced approach to the use of land and its natural resources by safe guarding the fragile ecosystems like lagoons, wetlands.
The plan will also develop an integrated transport system to strengthen the intra- and inter-regional connectivity to optimize the functional efficiency in the proposed urban structure with integration of traffic and land use.
Flexible working hours, vehicular parking management, intersection control, traffic flow management and road pricing of entry roads to core areas are also included in this plan.
Megapolis will be completed in 15 years at a cost of 40 billion rupees.
Speaking at the event President Maithripala Sirisena said the government’s main initiative is creating a healthy and developed country for the people.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe also addressing the gathering said Sri Lanka will be transformed into an economic hub.
“In the future we want the country and its people to be transformed and be economically empowered with good housing facilities.”