Sri Lanka’s revised 30-year National Physical Plan (2019-2050) has finally secured the approval by the National Physical Planning Council (NPPC) chaired by President Maithripala Sirisena, and is scheduled to be gazetted within this month.
The Urban Development Authority Chairman and National Physical Planning Department (NPPD) Director General Dr. Jagath Munasinghe told Mirror Business that both President Sirisena and NPPC have endorsed the revised 30-year National Physical Plan and consequently it has been sent to the Legal Draftsman to be gazetted.
The key element of the draft plan is to develop Colombo-Trincomalee Economic Corridor, which consists one-third of the island’s population, as the main economic corridor by drawing private investments worth of US $ 4 billion from local and foreign investors.
The government plans to invest US $ 400 million for initial infrastructure developments over a 30-year period.
The future development initiatives in the corridor, such as industrial estates, cultural development and tourism zones and urban service centres will be concentrated on six major population centres in the corridor—Colombo Megapolis, Gampaha Metro Region, Negombo Metro Region, Kurunegala Metro Region, Dambulla Metro Region and Trincomalee Metro Region.
The draft National Physical Plan (NPP) was on the making for 18 years by the NPPD, and it was initially presented to the National Physical Planning Council (NPPC) chaired by President Maithripala Sirisena for approval mid last year.
However, due to the political turmoil that erupted at the latter part of last year, the approval of the NPP was delayed by several months.
The NPP is expected to implement through various government agencies, and each agency would be responsible for financing the projects under NPP, mainly supported by the Treasury.
In addition, some of the projects would be developed as Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) and through foreign funding.
If the project is identified as a priority project, the government might also seek loans on concessionary interest rates from lending agencies such as Asian Development Bank, World Bank, Japanese International Cooperation Agency and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. (NF)