New Beira Lake intervention area development gets underway
By: Staff Writer
Colombo (LNW): The Sri Lankan government is reportedly looking at implementing a new Beira Lake intervention area development plan aimed at restoring the lake and turning it into a scenic asset in Colombo.
Accordingly, the banks of Beria Lake will be developed initially before executing the development activities on the land adjoining the lake whilst improving the quality of environment and beauty of the city.
The Urban Development Ministry official has said that construction of a linear park around the Beira Lake will be completed in the initial stage prior to the launching of this mega development project which will be implemented in five phases.
According to reports, with a highly urbanized catchment of 448 hectares, even today the lake is considered a centre for residential, commercial, tourism and religious activities although the present pollution has affected the picturesque locality.
To overcome the environmental pollution, families living in shanties along the lake will be provided housing units with more facilities in the condominium housing schemes under construction, report state.
Warehouses and garages by the side of lake will be relocated to use the land surrounding the lake for more productive uses, reports added.
The Beira Lake area would be converted to a major entertainment destination, Minister of Tourism and Lands, Harin Fernando disclosed.
He said that this task was handed over to him personally by President Ranil Wickremesinghe who was keen to develop this area as a major entertainment destination similar to Clarke Quay River in Singapore which offers amusement, dining and entertainment.
“We are also keen to have a few floating restaurants, entertainment options, street food corners and other amusement options. We will facilitate international entertainment and hotel companies to start operations here.”
“We wish to create a special active district here without disturbing the cultural value of the country.”
Minister said that the cleaning and the maintenance of the Beira Lake would be done by the Urban Development Authority to ensure a clean environment to launch this operation.
He also said Extreme, a world-leading, purpose-driven adventure brand whose vision is to drive positive change through extreme and adventure sports, has signed up with Sri Lanka. This partnership will bring in high profile sport activities to Sri Lanka.”
They will help to introduce hot air ballooning, skydiving, Bunchy jumping and many other similar international sports activities to Sri Lanka which will encourage tourists to spend more for these activities.
He said that they aim to generate over USD 2.5 billion revenue with over 1.6 million arrivals for 2023 and hope to increase this to 2.5 million arrivals and USD 4 billion revenue for 2024 elevating Tourism as the second best forex earner for Sri Lanka beating the apparel sector.