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Upgrading Museum Garden Govt’s priority shift towards development questioned

14 September 2021 12:10 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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  • A project by the Ministry of Buddhasasana and Cultural Affairs is budgeted at Rs. 43 million and is expected to be completed by 2022 in two phases
  • Phase I includes re-turfing the lawn and a sum of Rs. 7 million has been allocated for this phase
  • Phase IV of the project includes the construction of a car park for VVIP visitors *The total budget for the project is Rs. 43 million with VAT.

While Sri Lanka is experiencing a rough patch with the COVID-19 pandemic and a crippled economy certain development projects are underway. One of them is the Development of Landscape Master Plan at the Colombo National Museum. This is a project by the Ministry of Buddhasasana and Cultural Affairs budgeted at Rs. 43 million and is expected to be completed by 2022 in two phases. However, certain area residents question whether this is a topmost priority for the government at this critical juncture. 


Opportunity to market landscape 


The Urban Development Authority (UDA) is the architectural and engineering consultant of the project. “This plan was presented during the previous government, but there was no fund allocation,” opined Thushari Kariyawasam, Deputy Directory (Consultancy Landscape) at UDA. “However the funds weren’t allocated back then, but now the Treasury has been able to allocate funds for the initial phase of the project. The contract has been awarded to a third party and the UDA is only doing a consultation. The Museum building premises is a Dutch Colonial Building and is over 40 years old. The outdoor is compacted and there is no proper drainage system in place.” said Kariyawasam. 

 

“However the funds weren’t allocated back then, but now the Treasury has been able to allocate funds for the initial phase of the project. The contract has been awarded to a third party and the UDA is only doing a consultation”- Thushari Kariyawasam, Deputy Directory (Consultancy Landscape) UDA


As such, Phase I includes re-turfing the lawn and a sum of Rs. 7 million has been allocated for this phase. “Therefore there will be a drainage system installed apart from sprinklers and a lighting system. We have also observed that there are very old trees near the parapet wall at the front. These include araliya and one Pihimbiya tree. Hence we have instructed the Timber Corporation to remove these trees in a suitable manner. We are not cutting down trees, but when the new lawn is being developed there has to be young plants. So far we have proposed Munamal, Burutha and Mee trees since they are flowering trees and will add more colour to the lawn.” she said. 


Kariyawasam further said that Phase IV of the project includes the construction of a car park for VVIP visitors. “We are planning for the future and there has to be a place for foreign delegates to park their vehicles. A sculpture garden, walkway and ponds too will be included. The project will be done phase by phase and is expected to be completed by next year. But depending on the prevailing situation and allocation of funds it may extend to 2022. The total budget for the project is Rs. 43 million with VAT. In fact this is a good opportunity to market the garden area because right now people only visit the building,” she said.

 

 “The president has advised us to continue with projects that have been lined up. On the other hand the pandemic is a temporary challenge and we need to plan for the future”- Prof. Kapila Gunawardena, Secretary to the Ministry of Buddhasasana and Cultural Affairs 


 

 

Project commenced under President’s instructions 


When asked why this project was done at a critical juncture when the economy has been affected and people have been impacted with COVID Prof. Kapila Gunawardena, Secretary to the Ministry of Buddhasasana and Cultural Affairs said that it is being done as per the instructions of the President. “The president has advised us to continue with projects that have been lined up. On the other hand the pandemic is a temporary challenge and we need to plan for the future. It’s unfortunate that most people and even certain media organizations are trying to criticise everything that the government is doing.”

 

 

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See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

 


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See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

 


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