CMC out? New Authority under Defence Ministry

A Development Authority is to be set up for the City of Colombo. The move may see the abolition of the centuries-old Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) and the proposed statutory authority being vested with all functions now being exercised by the CMC.

Consequently there is likely to be no elected body to administer the City of Colombo. In addition, the authority will also enforce strict guidelines with regard to all development activity in the City of Colombo.
This Authority is to function under the Ministry of Defence. At present, the Urban Development Authority (UDA) administers a part of matters relating to development activity in the city, which is under this ministry.

A detailed study to formulate new legislation is now under way. One of the priority tasks of the proposed authority would be to prepare plans to do away with shanties located in and around the city. Those living in such areas are to be found accommodation elsewhere.

A hint that the new statutory authority is in the making came from Wimal Weerawansa, Minister of Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities. Speaking as the chief guest at a construction exhibition at the BMICH, Mr. Weerawansa said there would soon be a boost to Sri Lanka’s construction industry when the new statutory authority was set up.

He said the industry should be prepared to cope with the new challenges. The Colombo Municipal Council was created in 1865 under an Ordinance by the British to train Sri Lankans in self-government. For this purpose, the Legislative Council of then Ceylon, constituted the Colombo Municipal Council. The Council met for the first time on January 16, 1866.

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