Port City regulations to be Gazetted soon without considering irregularity charges
The Gazette notification stipulating the laws and regulation pertaining to the Colombo Port City Development Project will be issued in a couple of days, said Investment Promotion State Minister Dilum Amunugma. He made these remarks during a site visit to the Port City on Thursday 27.
But public interest activists and town planning experts have raised concerns on the compatibility of this UDA draft document with outdated physical model and regulations for the Port City of world class proportions and functionality to be completed in 2023-2025.
Numerous concerns have been raised over irregularities and unlawfulness of outdated physical model (town planning/ urbanization) and the Colombo Port City Development Control Regulations.(DCR) unveiled recently.
In a lengthy letter dated 08-06-2022 sent to President Goatabaya Rajapaksa by Archt. Nalaka C. Jayaweera, leading public interest activist and a member of several Presidential and public Commissions, he has highlighted and analysed shortcomings in these 2018 refined regulations for Port City to be completed in 25 years.
Addressing the media, the State Minister said “Sri Lanka is benchmarking with global standards and in the process of promoting ease of doing business and thereby, make Port City another Dubai and Singapore,”
He said “In this context, the completion of drafting the Gazette is a huge achievement, which will help the investors get a clearer picture about the laws and regulations so as to commence operation at the Port City and accelerate ongoing projects,”
Responding to a query posed by media personnel whether as to why the investors show reluctance in investing in the Port City Project, the State Minister said “It is imperative that we as the Government set the tone and create a conducive environment for the investors to invest in the project, which is the largest ongoing project in Sri Lanka,”
“That’s the very reason why we considered this as a priority and thus, decided to finalize drafting the Gazette,” he stressed.
The Acting Director General of Colombo Port City Economic Commission Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrama said that the DCR was further modified and evaluated by international consultants and Urban Development Authority.
He noted that if there is any irregularity then it could be rectified and amended and the DCR is being reviewed at the moment although it was launched recently.
In a lengthy letter dated 08-06-2022 sent to President Goatabaya Rajapaksa by Archt. Nalaka C. Jayaweera, leading public interest activist and a member of several Presidential and public Commissions noted that these DCR cannot ensure the proper and effective development of a modern city, as well as the general welfare of the public.
He added that these regulations prepared to suite the legislation, guide lines and conditions four to five years ago will become archaic at the time of opening the Port City as construction of the complete project is estimated to be realized in 2041.
Much serious issue is that some of the clauses provided in the regulation are contrary to the Port City Act itself, clearly indicating the drafting persons are ignorant of the provision provided in the Act and had attempted to bring back the UDA Draft under the Port City Commission, despite UDA Act has been listed as non-applicable Act in the Port City Act.