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 Post subject: President’s Square in Colombo Fort
 Post Posted: Mon Dec 25, 2006 3:44 am 
President’s Square in Colombo Fort

The historic Foreign Ministry building at Sir Baron Jayatilleke Mawatha and the former General Post Office complex at Fort would be converted into museums and art galleries.


@ Source: The Nation / 24Dec2006

A proposed plan to establish a President’s Square in Colombo Fort would cost well over Rs. 5 billion. The acquisition of land tantamounts to an area of 4 acres and 11.72 perches and would cost the Government Rs. 5 billion even by conservative estimates. The areas under consideration are: Janadhipathi Mawatha, Sir Baron Jayatilake Mawatha (Prince Street), Mudalige Mawatha (Baillie Street), Chatham Street and Hospital Lane.

The Government, by this move, will evict all the corporate institutions in the Colombo Fort over a period of time, which would mean that frontline corporates including Sri Lanka’s oldest – the 171 year old George Stuart and Co Ltd, Hatton National Bank City office, Cargo Boat Development Ltd, Rodrigo Restaurants Ltd (Pagoda ) the Upper Chatham Street Branch of Sampath Bank and others.

Businesses in the area so far affected by this project are George Steuart & Company Limited, Carson Cumberbatch & Company Limited and Cargo Boat Development Company Limited amongst others. Property belonging to Carson Cumberbatch, located on Janadhipathi Mawatha will soon be acquired by the government as part of the project.

The move is a part of a program to establish a tourist area in the Fort with hotels, art galleries and museums. The historic Foreign Ministry Building, the General Post Office (GPO) Building, would also be used for this purpose.

The strategy behind the development plan is to convert Colombo into a state of the art capital with many tourist attractions. The commercial and administrative establishments are to be moved to the suburbs. All the administrative complexes including the Ministries and Departments were to be moved to Kotte and for this purpose the Government has acquired 42 acres between Pelawatte and Thalawatugoda.

The three Armed Forces and the Defence Ministry would also be moved there. The Sri Lanka Navy Headquarters which is at Chatham Street would accordingly be moved.

Commercial concerns would be allowed to flourish around the Fort Railway station while commercial high-rise buildings are to be erected on the 54-acre premises at the present site of the Welikada prison, which is to be moved out.

Cargills Chairman Ranjith Page said that his head office building which runs the administration of the 91 Food city supermarkets has not been affected.

Related Links:
:arrow: Colombo Megapolis - plans and projects

 Post subject: President’s Square plan suspended
 Post Posted: Sun Dec 31, 2006 6:57 pm 
President’s Square plan suspended
Abandoned complex project at Madiwela an alternative

@ ST /31Dec2006

A multi-million-rupee project to set up a President’s Square in Fort has been suspended on a directive from President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The Urban Development Authority (UDA) which had begun acquiring buildings in the vicinity of the President’s House has been directed to suspend the project, Urban Development Ministry Secretary Anila Amaratunga told The Sunday Times.

He said a Gazette notification canceling an earlier order to acquire buildings in the vicinity would be issued shortly. The owners of some of the key buildings around the President’s House had been ordered to vacate their premises under the previous order, but have now been informed that they could remain as the project is to be suspended. The Foreign Ministry was also to be relocated.

The Sunday Times learns that the decision to suspend the project came after recent revelations about it. Urban Development Minister Dinesh Gunawardena told The Sunday Times the project was being suspended, but the ministry was looking for ‘alternatives’.

Mr. Gunawardena claimed the proposal for the construction of a President’s Square was originally made some 30 years ago, and the government had earlier wanted to put it into effect. He said one of the alternatives being considered was the now abandoned Madiwela presidential complex where some Rs. 400 million had already been spent.

The Minister, however, declined to comment on widely-splashed media reports last Sunday that a luxury presidential bunker was also to be built in the so-called President’s Square.

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