By Nishel Fernando
The government has appointed an apex committee tasked with identifying an implementation model for the proposed Pettah Multimodal Transport Hub (PMTH) and resolving the key issues surrounding the project, in order to finalise theproject plan.
The Cabinet of Ministers on Tuesday approved the relevant proposal presented by Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali
The committee consists of secretaries to the Finance Ministry, Megapolis and Western Development Ministry, Transport and Civil Aviation Ministry, Internal and Home Affairs and Provincial Councils and Local Government Ministry and Highways and Road Development and Petroleum Resources Ministry.
The French consultancy firms AREP & Egis and SNCF Hubs & Connections recently concluded their conceptual and feasibility studies on the project funded by the
PMTH Project Director attached to the Megapolis and Western Development Ministry Srimantha Fernando told Mirror Business that a detailed plan was submitted to the Cabinet, based on the feasibility studies carried out by the French consultancy agencies.
“It’s a big milestone we achieved. We are entrusting the responsibilities for the relevant secretaries of the ministries as we alone cannot implement the project,” he said. The committee is scheduled to hold its first meeting on July 12. According to the initial project proposals, the cost of the project is estimated at US $ 7 billion and the government was planning to develop it as a joint venture with the private sector, over a seven-year period. w However, it was proposed to implement the project stage by stage at an investment of around US $ 3 billion during the initial stages.
The PMTH will be developed as the main passenger transfer centre gateway to the Colombo city while coordinating with a high-density mixed development in the city, minimizing traffic congestion and enhancing easy pedestrian access.
Over 30 hectares of land has been identified for the establishment of the PMTH and almost all of these land blocks are currently owned by the Urban Development Authority, Railway Department and Postal Department. The Cabinet approval has already been granted to call for expressions of interest for the project.