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UDA Chief named 2019 Real Estate Personality of the Year

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Friday, 28 June 2019 00:00



UDA Chairman Dr. Jagath Munasinghe (right) receiving the 2019 Real Estate Personality of the Year award from PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards Director Jules Kay


  • Accolade for Dr. Jagath Munasinghe, the man behind the National Physical Plan 2050 by PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Sri Lanka)

The 2019 PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Sri Lanka) competition moves forward as 50 senior executives from more than 20 developers from the island-nation joined the exclusive Leaders Luncheon hosted by the prestigious industry award-giving body at the Galle Face Hotel, Colombo.

The private luncheon also served as a venue to recognise Dr. Jagath Munasinghe, the Chairman of the Urban Development Authority (UDA), and Director General, National Physical Planning Department (NPPD), as the recipient of 2019 Sri Lanka Real Estate Personality of the Year award.

“It is an honour to be here with you at this event. Even though I am reluctant to accept awards, I thought it is my duty to attend any appreciation, on behalf of my team, who had been there with me for the last three years and enormously contributed to formulate the National Physical Plan 2050 for Sri Lanka and to make the current transformation in the Urban Development Authority, a reality,” said Dr. Munasinghe upon humbly accepting the accolade.

According to the government official, the National Physical Planning Policy and the Plan 2050 had been his long-time dream to further develop the infrastructure covering 660square kilometres on the island, the country’s ports, and its ocean space over the course of the next few decades. The plan was recently approved by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and will be published soon on the NPPD’s website. 

“The 2050 Plan has been adopted by other institutions, including a few private sector organisations for the preparation and formulation of their sectoral plans and policies. On this occasion, I welcome the move by the property development sector to appreciate this work,” he added, expressing gratitude to his teams at UDA and NPPD, and Patali Champika Ranawaka, M.P., Minister of Megapolis and Western Development, who appointed him to his current positions at a ‘crucial moment’ of the country’s development.

“I can assure you that the real estate development sector in Sri Lanka will flourish even though we experience a few setbacks at times,” he continued, referring to the Easter Sunday tragedy that shocked the country earlier this year. “The task of the National Physical Plan and the Urban Development Authority is to facilitate the processes and procedures towards such state. We are optimistic that we can do it, slowly, but steadily and gradually, and surely.”

A respected chartered architect and town planner, and a senior lecturer at the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka’s Department of Town and Country Planning, Dr. Munasinghe earned his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Urban Planning and Design from the National University of Singapore in 2004. He is also President Elect for the term 2019-2021 at the Institute of Town Planners Sri Lanka. 

His major projects include the Master Plan for the developments of Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Ltd. Kolonnawa Premises, the University Township Development Project for Jaffna University, Sri Lanka, the Strategic Cities Development Project of Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, Sri Lanka, funded by Word Bank, among others. 

Jules Kay, Director of the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards, and host of the Leaders Luncheon in Colombo, said: “On behalf of the PropertyGuru Property Report editorial team, I am proud to celebrate the tremendous contributions and outstanding efforts of Dr. Jagath Munasinghe to the development of the country, including his efforts in providing support for low-income housing and infrastructure projects, monitoring and halting illegal construction sites, and formulating the National Physical Plan 2050. “Despite the recent tragedy that struck Sri Lanka, PropertyGuru believes that the country remains a good target for foreign direct investment, serial real estate seekers and cross-border investors. We’re hosting this Leaders Luncheon in Colombo to support this nation and promote Sri Lanka to the rest of the Asia-Pacific region through our industry-leading Asia Property Awards programme, which is now celebrating its 14th year.”

Recognising the year’s most outstanding developers, projects and design, the third annual PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Sri Lanka) will accept nominations from the public until 23 August, and eligible entries must be submitted by authorised representatives of developers until 30 August. Online submissions for the Sri Lanka competition are being accepted atwww.AsiaPropertyAwards.com/.

The winners and highly commended awardees from Sri Lanka will be honoured at the glittering PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards Grand Final gala dinner and presentation ceremony, which takes place in Bangkok, Thailand on Friday, 22 November. The finale is a collocated event of the two-day PropertyGuru Asia Real Estate Summit, a platform for innovators in property technology. Dr. Nirmal de Silva, Director and CEO of Paramount Realty, returns as the chairperson of the independent judging panel for Sri Lanka.

This year’s esteemed panel of judges also include respected figures in the sector: Emeritus Prof. Chitra Weddikkara, President, Women In-Construction Forum Sri Lanka Chapter, and Managing Director, QServe Ltd.; Nandike D. Samaranayake, Chartered Architect, AIA (SL); Natalie Pendigrast, Founder, Pendi Ltd; Nilesh De Silva, Chartered Architect and Director, Kahawita De Silva & Associates Ltd; Roshan Madawela, founding director of the Research Intelligence Unit (RIU); Stephanie Balendra, Co-Founder, SB Realtors Ltd. and HomesNSpaces Ltd.; and William Vincent Asoka Tilakawardane, Fellow of the Institute of Project Managers (Sri Lanka).

The 2019 PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Sri Lanka) is supported by official airline partner Thai Airways; official portal partner LankaPropertyWeb.com; official magazine PropertyGuru Property Report; supporting association Ceylon Institution; and the award-winning team of BDO, the official supervisor.

For more information, email awards@propertyguru.com or visit the official website: AsiaPropertyAwards.com.

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