In an effort to improve the productive use of lands, the Cabinet has approved a proposal to transfer some 65 acres of crown land within the Colombo City limits to the Urban Development Authority on the basis of a free grant, Daily Mirror learns.
The Cabinet memorandum was submitted on Monday by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as Defence and Urban Development Minister. Accordingly, several blocks of unutilized land belonging to government institutions will be vested with the UDA to be developed in parallel with the ongoing city infrastructure improvement projects.
The development of these blocks of identified land will be done in line with the UDA’s Colombo City Development Plan. Ownership of these lands will be transferred in conformity with the Crown Lands Ordinance free-of-charge.
The lands to be acquired include: A block of land occupied by the Tripoli Market at Olcott Mawatha in Maradana will be acquired from Sri Lanka Railway to put up IT related business ventures and mixed development projects while a block of land from Chatham Street in Fort; a block of land occupied by C.W. Mackie and Company at D.R. Wijewardene Mawatha and another block of land close by will be acquired for tourism-related businesses.
Two more blocks of land will be vested with the UDA for mixed development projects; a block of land occupied by the Dumriya Sevaka Sangamaya at Bastian Mawatha has been earmarked by the UDA for commercial purposes while land will also be acquired for housing for low income families.
A block of land opposite the Ayurvedic Hospital in Rajagiriya (near the Dr. N.M. Perera statue) is reserved for mixed development projects while another block of land adjoining Lanka Hospital premises will be developed for hospital and housing development activities.
Land has also been set apart for the expansion of the Russian Embassy premises while in Apple Watte at Maligawatte will be set apart to be used for housing for low income families.
The total extent of land earmarked for acquisition amounts to 65 acres, 33 roods and 310.61 perches. (Kelum Bandara)