Hakeem hails urbanisation initiative

Tuesday, 7 April 2015 01:04 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

After a 30-year-long conflict which ravaged the country and its economy, Sri Lanka is now in revival, said Minister of Urban Development, Water Supply and Drainage and SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem. “Today, Sri Lanka is focusing on addressing new challenges, making bold decisions and adopting transformational approaches. Sri Lanka is shifting to a more globally-integrated, competitive, knowledge based economy. The success of this transition will depend on how well Sri Lanka manages its urbanisation,” he added. Hakeem was addressing the inaugural ceremony of the capacity building program yesterday at Waters Edge, Battaramulla. The Ministry of Urban Development, Water Supply and Drainage, in association with Singapore Corporation Enterprise and Temasek Foundation in Singapore, is conducting this workshop from 6 to 8 April focusing on ‘Overview to Integrated City Planning’. While delivering his speech as the Chief Guest, Minister Hakeem added: “This is a timely and significant program. Sri Lanka’s urbanisation is slow compared to other highly-populated South Asian countries. By acting now, Sri Lanka can take full advantage of the economic benefits of urban transition while mitigating the problems associated with rapid urbanisation.”         Ministry Secretary Eng. Karunasena Hettiarachchi, Project Director, Metro Colombo Urban Development Program Eng. Rohan Senaviratne, CEO Singapore Corporation Enterprise Kong Wy Mun, CEO Temasek Foundation Benedict Cheong and Director Centre for Liveable Cities Julian Goh also addressed the gathering. UDA Chairman Ranjit Fernando, Director General Nayana Mawilmada, SLLRDC General Manager Srimathie Senadeera, Mayor of Colombo A.J.M. Muzammil, Mayor of Kalmunai Nizam Kariyappar, Directors of UDA and SLLRDC and the Additional Secretaries of the Ministry also participated at the inaugural session. The collaboration document was signed by Urban Development, Water Supply and Drainage Ministry Secretary Eng. Karunasena Hettiarachchi and Singapore Corporation Enterprise CEO Kong Wy Mun witnessed by Minister Hakeem and other guests. The objective of this capacity building program is to equip 150 Sri Lankan officials with competencies in integrated master planning and urban development by sharing the best practices of Singapore’s development experience. Key areas of focus including housing design and community building, water infrastructure development and greening, master plan review and Government land sales.