The Sri Lankan government will not abandon the USD 1.4 billion Colombo Port City project though its work had currently been suspended owing to some issues, Ports and Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranatunga told the country’s Parliament on Friday.
According to Ranatunga, that are certain issues to be addressed and remedied first before resuming the work on the Colombo Port City project.
“One such issue is sea erosion in Wattala and Mount Lavinia areas expected to be caused by this project. There are around 50 investors willing to invest in this. We won’t be swayed by money to permit the project to go ahead regardless of its ill-effects. But, we will certainly not stop the project,” the Minister said.
The construction of a breakwater for the port city project funded by China was approved in March this year, following the project’s suspension by the new government amid environmental concerns.
Sri Lanka’s Cabinet allowed China Harbor Engineering to move forward with certain segments of the project which can prevent possible damages from sea erosion and rains, including the construction of the breakwater.
“We will not stop the project. It will be resumed once problems related to it are sorted out,” Ranatunga added, stressing that the government was giving priority to national interests rather than attracting funds to the country.
The project envisages new berths for vessels at the nearby port, hotels, shopping centers, office buildings and residential complexes, encompassing an area of over 5.3 million square meters.