Mega Plan To Upgrade Colombo
The government, under the Urban Development Authority (UDA), is planning to upgrade Colombo with new walkways, bridges, sanitation facilities, cleaner beach areas, playgrounds and jogging tracks.
There are two main components of the proposed MCUDP which will be implemented by Project Partner Agencies (PPAs), namely, the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation (SLLRDC), Urban development Authority (UDA), Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), Sri Jayawardenapura-Kotte Municipal Council (SJKMC), Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia Municipal Council (DMMC), and Kolonnawa Urban Council (KUC) under the directions of the Project Management Unit (PMU) located in the Ministry of Defense and Urban Development (MOD & UD).
The first component, the flood and drainage management component, comprises four sub-components which are improvements to main canals and lakes, improvements to secondary canals, improvements and rehabilitation to storm water drainage, road improvements and other social and physical infrastructure.
The second component aims at strengthening institutional capacity for sustainable metropolitan and local infrastructure and service provision and support for project implementation.
Under the Metro Colombo Urban Development Project (MCUDP), the area surrounding Town Hall Square will be improved and the Crow Island Beach and Marine Drive beach will be cleaned and entrance gates will be setup together with a security hut, toilet facilities, parking, a waterfront court, children’s playground and seating arrangements.
New public toilets will also be opened in close proximity to the Galle Road and other selected locations in the city for the public and tourists.
“The Metro Colombo Urban Development Project and its successful implementation, together with other initiatives of the Government to develop Colombo, will help transform this city into a truly world class one”, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa was quoted by the Ministry of Defence as saying last week.
MCUDP is a USD 223 million World Bank funded three year urban regeneration program aimed at reducing the physical and socioeconomic impacts of flooding in the Metro Colombo region and improving priority local infrastructure and services.
“The Metro Colombo Urban Development Project being launched today is a five year long undertaking that comprises three main components. The first main component addresses the various flood and drainage issues that the metro Colombo region suffers from because of its rapid, organic growth during the past several decades. Under this component, the city’s drainage infrastructure, including its micro drainage channels, primary and secondary canals and lakes will be rehabilitated,” Rajapaksa said.
A flood and drainage management system will also be in place as part of the project. This will include the financing of both structural and non-structural activities related to flood control and drainage management identified as a priority by the inter-agency Flood Mitigation Task force.
The investment packages under this component are essential and critical to reduce the impact of future floods in the catchment of the Colombo Basin. The bulk of the structural investments will be aimed to improve the system of primary and secondary canals, retention areas and drainage of the Colombo Water Basin. This component will also finance complementary interventions to enhance the economic value and aesthetic qualities of the water bodies.
This component will include the following four sub-components: (1.1) Primary and Secondary Canals and Lakes; (1.2) Micro-Drainage System within CMC (localized floods); (1.3) Institutional and Capacity Enhancement for Flood and Drainage Management; and (1.4) Beira Lake Development and Beddagana Bio-diversity Wetland Management Park.
Rehabilitation of the McCallum lock gates and the construction of bank protection walls with a linear walk around Beira Lake is also part of the project.
The main objective of this area based intervention is the protection of the shoreline of the lake from further deterioration, by constructing bank protection walls along 2.5 km of shoreline on the West and East Beira Lakes, and the preservation of the historic McCallum Lock Gates.
The project aims at complementing the flood reduction measures being taken through Component 1, while providing opportunities for urban regeneration along the East and West Beira lake waterfronts with public access to the lake along a linear path/promenade with an average width of six meters to be constructed, once the lake shoreline has been stabilized.
Currently, the lake is not accessible to the public due to inadequate bank protection and multiple uses along the shoreline. Once bank protection walls are constructed, a linear pedestrian path/promenade can be added on top of the protection walls, that will provide a natural connection of the East and West Beira Lake waterfronts with the already constructed walkways that connect to the South West Beira lake waterfront.
This will provide a contiguous recreation space within the core area of the city that has potential for private sector investment. A phased approach will be adopted for this component, whereby the first phase which has been divided into two sections will focus on stabilization of the lake shoreline and the preservation of the McCallum lock gates.
The second phase, will focus on the construction of the four kilometre linear path/promenade and nodal park along with foot bridges.
All losses as a result of implementation of the MCUDP will be compensated. The acquired properties will be compensated at replacement cost based on the prevailing market rates. In the sub-projects for which this short RAP has been prepared, only two shops (tenants) and one kiosk will be relocated.
The affected shops will be offered alternative accommodation and the kiosk, will be offered compensation, for the structure and relocation assistance; the temporary impacts will be addressed as per the EM and as explained in detail in the EMF.