Sri Lanka on fast track to cut flood risk, modernize capital

Jan 29, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has begun a fast track execution of a 220 million US dollar World Bank funded plan to cut floods, boost drainage as well as create waterfront entertainment areas in a bid to modernize the capital Colombo, officials said. When questioned by reporters officials said a wetland including rich in reed beds which is prime bird habitat in front of Sri Lanka’s environmental authority that is currently being dug up into a featureless water body is not part of the World Bank funded project.

Nitti said the flood reduction program is being designed to cope with higher levels of rainfall after analyzing 25 years of data. Officials were also taking into account an increasing trend towards shorter and more intense monsoon rains.

Seneviratne said a French consultancy firm has just concluded an aerial hydrological survey of Colombo of the area which had provided valuable insights.

“The Colombo metropolitan region produces almost 60 percent of gross domestic product and 80 percent of industrial output,” Rosanna Nitti, senior urban specialist at Sri Lanka’s World Bank office said.

“Sri Lanka needs to tap the competitive advantages of the Colombo metropolitan region to spearhead and accelerate growth.”

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