Wednesday, 17 September 2014 01:37
Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says the Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran is not cooperating on development work carried out by the Government, and this is affecting the ordinary people in the North.
Speaking at a UN Habitat program yesterday, Rajapaksa said that political differences between Municipalities and the Central Government has resulted in some officials, including Mayors, showing reluctance to work with the Government.
Rajapaksa noted that fortunately the Colombo Municipal Council is working with the Urban Development Authority and Ministry of Defence despite the Council being governed by the opposition UNP.
He said the Northern Provincial Council must also work with the Government like the Colombo Municipal Council, in the best interest of the people in the area.
He noted that one of the foremost urban development initiatives of the Government in Colombo in recent years has been the uplifting of underserved settlements through the provision of new housing.
“Before this project began Colombo had nearly 70,000 families living in shanties and slums. Through the Relocation of Underserved Settlements Programme these families are being given good quality housing in medium-to-high rise housing complexes located in reasonable proximity to their original dwellings,” he added.
The Defence Secretary said that Colombo today is one of the most beautiful major cities in South Asia and that urban development plans being drawn up for many of our other cities will ensure that they are all greatly improved in time to come. He also said that already, a great deal of development has taken place in towns such as Galle, Matara, Nuwara Eliya, etc., and projects are underway in cities such as Kandy, Jaffna, Batticalao, Kurunegala, and Trincomalee.