Financial Times

Master plan of Water's Edge to be unveiled soon


The Water's Edge resort near Parliament, where the rich-and-the-powerful played golf or sipped beer on the terrace, is being re-modelled under a new master plan by government agencies after the Supreme Court ruled that the land acquisition and sale was an illegal transaction.

Under this plan, government agencies will be housed at the resort's posh buildings while at the same time maximum possible lands at the site will be used for flood retention purposes.

The UDA, Central Environment Authority and the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation (SLLR&DC), have been entrusted with the task of devising the master plan. Secretary to the Ministry of Urban Development Dr. P. Ramanujam told The Sunday Times FT that a 6-member committee appointed by Urban Development Minister Dinesh Gunawardena to study and report on the 225-acre Water's Edge property development by the state is now in the process of making their project proposal and the proposed master plan.

The report will be completed within a month, he said. The UDA will take over property on February 8, 2009 in accordance with the Supreme Court ruling. The committee held several rounds of discussions under his chairmanship, Dr. Ramanujam said. He said that the UDA will pay back the cost of construction (to the former developer of the property) as at the time of the construction according to the valuation of the government's Chief Valuer but it will not pay any money for the property development by Asia Pacific Golf Course Pvt Ltd. He added that all parties should abide by the Supreme Court order and in accordance with its judgment that the company cannot claim money for Water’s Edge property development.

The Chief Valuer is to hand over his valuation report soon, he said. Officials of the involved state agencies along with the Kaduwela Pradeshiya Sabha are currently engaged in devising an environmental conservation programme that will be implemented at the site.

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