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The first stage of the proposed offshore city in Colombo, the Colombo Port City Development Project was launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a grand ceremony this morning (17 September). The memorial plaque set up in connection with the inauguration of the first stage of the project was unveiled by the two leaders.

This will be the largest foreign direct investment of 1.5 billion US$ for the land development that has potential to attract more than 5 billion US$ businesses from all over the world. The two leaders also declared open the Colombo International Container Centre constructed under this project. They have also observed the operating chamber, the city plan and the urban model. President Rajapaksa briefed the Chinese President about the graphical illustrations of the Colombo Port City Project at the official commissioning ceremony.

All feasibility studies conducted so far have identified that the Colombo city which is the main economic centre of the country should be developed to meet the international standards, as a fully fledged modern city. However, it has been found out that the space of the city is restricted and that people would experience difficulties if the available land was used as for this development project. Therefore, it was propose to acquire additional extent of land to the Colombo City by reclaiming the sea area adjacent to the Galle Face Green. The Port Authority of Sri Lanka has conducted a preliminary study in this connection. The China Communication Construction Company of the Peoples Republic of China has agreed to engage in the investment and construction process. They have presented many investment projects for the construction of break water and the reclamation of the sea.

Accordingly, it has been decided to develop a land area, an extent of 500 acre land fill up in the sea off Galle Face Green is developed as the Port City. 170 hectares of land has been identified as land that could be developed. The remaining 63 hectares will be reserved for the provision of common facilities such as roads, parks and water ways.

It is anticipated to complete the entire project within eight years. The new Port City is comprised of super luxury hotels, housing, shopping, sport and office complexes, mini golf ground and many other modern facilities. An internal road network will link the entire system. A special feature has been the ability to use the space as a formula one motor car track as an when needed. The breakwater dam spanning 3 meters and 3.25 meters in length will be constructed for the protection of the area. However this proposed city development project is expected to change the skyline of entire Colombo city. 

This massive project will generate a huge number of direct and indirect job opportunities for locals. According to China Harbour Engineering Company over 70 per cent of the workforce of all projects carried out by the company was recruited from Sri Lanka and this rule also applies to the Colombo Port City Project.

Pix by: Sudath Silva


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