The Sunday Leader

Formula One Track To Be Built On Planned ‘New Port City’ Colombo

By Abdul H. Azeez

A Formula One track is planned for the New Port City to be constructed in the vicinity of the Colombo Port. According to the Chairman, Ports Authority, Dr. Priyath Wickrama an eight lane F1 track will “definitely” be a part of the New Port City, he said.
Formula One has strict requirements for its tracks and the Sri Lankan track, if it is to be a reality, must be carefully planned if it is to be implemented in the New Port City. Currently planners are formulating ways of fitting the track in the premises of the city whilst also allowing for maximum leeway for commercial activities. Space is also a problem so a synergistic approach with commercial roads must also be adopted. F1 tracks around the globe often use sections of public roads for racing.
The New Port City will set Sri Lanka up for its own city-on-the-sea akin to Palm Island and The World, Dubai. The city is to be constructed on filled land taking up the area between the Southern edge of the new Colombo South Port and the Fort Lighthouse. The total area of sea reclaimed is set to be 450 acres.
‘The New Port City Development Project will be implemented in March 2011’ said Chairman, Ports Authority, Dr. Priyath Wickrama in an exclusive interview with The Sunday Leader. The New Port City is a concept of President Mahinda Rajapaksa who was apparently inspired while out on a visit to inspect the landfill being constructed for the Colombo South port.
‘The new city is going to be well planned. Colombo unfortunately is not very well planned anymore. It was a quite well planned city during colonial times but has since become haphazard,’ said Wickrama.
The initiatives for the city involves shopping complexes, hotels, office complexes, etc. There is also a marina planned for boats and other water based activities.
The construction is set to begin in March 2011 with an initial budget of $450 million. The filling of the land is projected to take two years while subsequent infrastructure construction is projected to take another one and a half years.
‘The Ports Authority will call for investors to buy land for use and construction as the project gets underway’ said Wickrama adding that private sector funds will be key in ensuring that the project is completed in time. He also said that many investors both local and foreign have shown ‘a lot of interest’ in investing already.
‘The models have been constructed and feasibility studies have been done. All the expertise has been provided by us and no foreign consultants have been approached so far. The technology and knowledge needed for filling the land is sophisticated. A monorail is planned to reduce congestion in the city. Entrants will be encouraged to park their cars at the entrance and use the monorail to navigate the city,’ he said. According to Wickrama the funding will likely come from a Chinese source as some interest has already been conveyed from there. Wickrama also mentioned that bonds will be issued to raise funds in addition to private investments.
‘The Ports Authority has been financially stable but could perform much better,’ said General Manager Capt. Nihal Keppetipola, adding that a key reason for this is the foreign exchange loss suffered in the repayment of a yen loan taken for super infrastructure developments a decade ago. ‘The New Port City project more than anything else will be a massive revenue earner for the Ports Authority,’ he said.

37 Comments for “Formula One Track To Be Built On Planned ‘New Port City’ Colombo”

  1. NotCorrupt

    How absurd is this? When the country is heading for disaster economically, this the last thing we need. Maybe we should ensure every citizen has a full stomach first. Formula one tracks can be built much later. We have many debts to pay… for generations.

    Do you really think the FIA will even consider SL as an option when we have the most corrupt regime ever… running the country. One of these patriotic Rajapookses will most likely approach the FIA and demand a commission for hosting the race in SL. This is how warped they are.

    Please wake up you bunch of morons!

    • Brendon

      Priorites for the govt.
      -Introduction of F1 tracks
      -Legalising betting and gambling
      -Staging commonwealth games costing Rs 600 billion
      -Air port in Rajapaksa village
      - Luxury trips for president costing Rs 1400 million
      -Parties such as IIFA costing RS 450 million ( income 25 million)
      - Jumbo cabinet costs of 2.5 billion and further super vehicles
      - Presidential luxury fleet of vehicles costing billions

      Not priorities for the govt
      -Decent salary increase despite election promises
      -’20 essential medicines for cancer in short supply’ or lack fo essential drugs
      - Loss of more than Rs 220 billion due to mismangement
      - Curbing of rampant bribary and corruption
      -Lack of lawlessness
      -Eggs, coconuts imported

      OOOPs !!!

      • Ashok

        This is what all governments did in the past.Coconut board was sleeping while millions of coconut trees fell during last 20 years and did not report it to government. Dudley gave thousands of acres of forests to his MP s in the name of agriculture just to sell the trees and after clearing the land they abandoned the fields.Ruskin Fernando alone cleared 5000 acres and wood he sold to Moratuwa exceeded millions of rupees at that time.Premadasa did the same in the name of Gamudawa and gave to his son in law a part of the restricted forest reservation in Hatton.Corruption is in our blood and see how people drive!! See how they use public toilets in stations and temples and in trains!

      • Third Angle

        A typical negative minded fool’s comment.

      • Third Angle

        Brendon , you are a typical negative minded fool.

      • garawi

        Well said Brendon!

    • Jaffna Tamil

      well said NOTCORRUPT. But this may produce some kickbacks, which may conveniently drop into the Rajapakse pockets.

    • Third Angle

      Another typical negative minded (JVP) mentality.

  2. Shan

    Jayawewa!!!

  3. jake

    should call it the China City in honor of our masters…

  4. lanka putra

    These are dreams driven by a few interested parties who would make a killing. How about first investing in producing our own food resources without importing coconuts, eggs , chillies etc from overseas ? We are not in Dubai . Sri Lanka is an arable country .

  5. vintage voter

    ARE WE NOT GETTING GETTING TOO AMBITIOUS AND GETTING OUR PRIORITIES MIXED. WHY DO WE NEED MORE REVENUE, WITH OUR
    “FINANCIAL WIZARD” NIVARD CABRAAL, SAYING SRI LANKA WAS NEVER
    BETTER OFF THAN NOW WITH THE MAHINDA CHINTHANAYA. IN PRACTICE.
    I WILL NOT BE SURPRISED IF AMERICA AND THE E.U GET HIM DOWN TO
    SORT OUT THEIR FINANCIAL PROBLEMS.
    PROBABLY “G.L.P.+++” CAN ARRANGE IT . HE HAS BECOME SUCH AN EXPERT IN EXTERNAL AFFAIRS, TO THE EXTENT HE DOES NOT KNOW THE STATE OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS IN THIS “ISLAND PARADISE”

  6. Ela Kolla

    This is not gonna go anywhere.. the ppl involved will get rich and the project will not see day light.. cos for a country like SL a F1 track is waaayyy too much of a responsibility.. financially and in many other ways. It takes a lot of money to build and maintain a world class F1 track.. money that SL doesn’t have.. what do these ppl think, it’s easy as building a cricket stadium or what??!?!!?!

  7. Mrs Sembakuttiarachchi

    Sri Lanka get your priorities right please

  8. I Hussein

    You must be kidding. I wonder how many of these people really understand what F1 is. As stated by the very first commenter – ‘Ela Kolla’, can we maintain this? Dubai is a different story altogether. Here in SL people struggle daily to get a loaf of bread and a coconut for sambol. What is the big hurry to have a F1 track (in fact two tracks, isnt it?). right now.

  9. kudu

    keppitapola man I wish old boy Henricus was here to see this F1 track ha ha ha

  10. lankan

    Ko POL GEDI/BITTARA???? nothin here wat nonsense with FI tracks

  11. Reality

    Another white elephant in the breeding. A Formula 1 track without cars like the new harbour without ships. The SLPA wants a white elephant orphanage.

  12. Ayne-Marie Leitch

    Wow !! Pigs will certainly fly !!!

    Whilst this is a very ambitious venture (and “pie in the sky” of course) – let’s get down to basics first , before we are away with the fairies – let’s get the infrastructure done – take the Galle Road for instance, what a disaster for both man and beast – and before we ever consider this F1 track !!

    Have these guys completely lost the plot ?????

  13. Jet

    I do have to admit the fact the majority of the commentary to this article comes from educated people which the comments in blogs is reflected. First all the developed economies who is hosting F1 find it absolutely hard to justify the profits since lately it has been all losses. So I do understand why GOSL is so keen to miss guide the people of SL either too make money or to tell them that we live in La La land. Congrads Sunday leader you got much more better educated commentary compared to Sunday T… by the Wijaya group.

  14. Free Thinker

    It looks like somebody is planning for a big kill. Do we really need these mega projects which do not contribute much in the form of forein exchange earning or employment generation? Where is the government economic bluprint for the infrastructure development? These white elephants will keep many more generations poor in this country.

  15. KD

    These people have all got their priorities mixed up. How about Horse racing , dog racing etc. These ideas are put forward to make money as already these fellows must be drinking with their counterparts from the racing clubs, track layers, contractors, bookies etc.

    The President must put the house in order before such ambitions.

  16. Realist

    Why doesnt the government publish the feasibility study for there are experts in the private sector unlike the economic illiterates in the public sector who cn comment on them

  17. Bec

    An F1 track would certainly boost tourism, as Canada has proved. The Canadian F1 GP is the countries biggest tourist attraction and generates $75 million for the Montreal economy.

    • Justitia omnibus

      Bec;
      Congratulations on comparing apples and “ambul dodang!” You are probably fortunate in that few Sri Lankans even know where Montreal is.

    • Saman

      $75 Million ! annually pea-nuts when you compare to investment and maintenance put in ! Its just a show-off project …

  18. roshan

    All you that live in sri lanka have no idea what benefits this can bring to the country.

    By developing and creating a new city, it will bring thousands, if not, 100,000 or more jobs to the common masses which would mean high standards of living, money to eat, drink, sleep! F1 track would boost tourism, more investors mean more money, development, job creation! Instead of complaning and talking about corruption (because we all know all you that are complaning are SF or ranil boot lickers) so stop whining, and support development or any ideas that will help the economy and this country to reach newer heights instead of talking negatively and yelling and screaming like politians do! Im not saying to support one type of govt, im saying to be postive and support for the better of country and WORK TOGETHER in UNISON for our FUTURE!!!!!!

  19. fernando alonso

    welldone srilanka

  20. Shafraz

    you should have thought about above consequences before re-electing this government folks…….now don’t cry here be wise at least in future elections …..

    • garawi

      People cannot be blamed for electing this governmet. They did eradicate LTTE and was in good rapport. It is the implementation of the war wins are totally unacceptable. They lost their heads after the election.

  21. garawi

    After Greece now Portugal is in financial difficulty. It can not pay the interest on government bonds.The borrowing has gone up to more than 7% of GDP.Swiss Banks have refused to accept Portugese government securities. EU is suggesting the depositors of goverment bonds to accept a loss. Then the country will go bankrupt. That’s where Sri Lanka isalso heading. We borrow from all possible avenues, buy a few tons of gold with that which is not a bad idea and bust the rest with unimaginable loss making project and pocket some of it with the powerful men. Basta! We go bust!

  22. Kir

    Really sri lanka should re-think the project. Building F1 Track and maintaining is not easy. Instead improve the basic needs, develop the country.

    Lol even india waited for long 8 years to get track. Even it’s not funded by government. Its funded by private companies like Jaypee group.

  23. Kangaroo dream

    Oh My God, another foolish act to keep up with other counties. SL is a poor, third world garbage dump. Who will pay for this race track. SL is struggling to survie, people of all levels of income are begging for food. My adopted western developed country can buy SL in a heart beat because it is rich and with billions of dollars in surplus. But you Sri Lankans cannot put food on the table. What politicians you have. Whom are you showing off to may I ask?

  24. Jackson

    Sri Lanka is still dumpy and poor even if they build a an F1, B1 or bycycle track, no one would come. Who cares.

  25. Manthra

    An F1 track in a third world country where 2/3 of its residents are living under the poverty line. What a joke.

  26. Jimbo

    SL is third world, it should remain that way. At least then we can beg for money and live in debt as we are doing now.

  27. DHAMMIKA

    LOOKS LIKE SRI LANKA WANTS TO CREATE A FORTH WORLD COUNTRY AND BE THE FIRST IN ITS LIST …..WHAT A GOVERNANCE………..

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