Government defends Financial City despite protests

The Government today defended the decision taken to go ahead with the Financial City (Port City) project at Galle Face despite protests by fishermen.Fishermen blocked the Colombo – Chilaw railway line in protest against the decision to extract sand from near Chilaw for the project. Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Patali Champika Ranawaka said that talks were granted to the fishermen to discuss the concerns raised over the project work. However the Government said that environment impact assessments have been carried out on the project and the agreement on the project ensures there is no damage to the environment or marine life. However the Minister says the fishermen had demanded that the project work be suspended before talks can be held but the Government will not agree to such demands.CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd, the Project Company for the Colombo Port City (CPC), signed a tripartite agreement with two government institutions in August this year for the project. The agreement formally replaces the previous agreement signed on 16thSeptember 2014 between the then government of Sri Lanka and the Project Company.The new tripartite agreement was signed following an announcement in March this year by the Government to lift the temporary suspension of work on the project until the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development completed the Supplementary Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA).  The SEIA was completed earlier this year, pursuant to a Development Permit issued by the Coast Conservation Department to recommence the project.Together the Project Company and the Government envisage creating approximately 83,000 new employment opportunities within different sectors, attracting over US$ 13 billion in Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) from investors and developers from countries including India, Singapore, Malaysia and China while also increasing the number of tourists visiting Sri Lanka within the next 20-30 years. (Colombo Gazette) read more