Friday, 09 April 2021 10:12

Colombo transforms to a heritage city Featured

Sri Lanka’s business district of Colombo will come under a major transformation which includes moving the Foreign Ministry and Police Headquarters in Fort to other areas,

creating pleasant walkways and restoring heritage buildings aimed at attracting tourists, a senior government official said.

Urban Development and Housing Ministry Secretary Nimal Perera said that while the Colombo Port City would be the “new city”, the old, heritage city would be emerging with the transformation of 150-year-old buildings in Fort and Pettah.
He said the Foreign Ministry would be shifted to the Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) premises at Bauddhaloka Mawatha, with ITI being moved to Malabe, while Police Headquarters would be relocated to Attidiya, Ratmalana where there is a large police-owned premises. In the adjoining building of the Ministry office, a Tea Museum would be established.
“All this development is aimed at winning back the accolade that Colombo won in 2015 as one of the fastest growing cities in the world,” he told the Sunday Times in an interview called to furnish extensive details of the work being undertaken by the Urban Development Authority (UDA) under the Ministry.
Continuing, he said, from the development undertaken from 2010 to 2015, work had already begun in many areas to restore heritage buildings like the Gaffoor Building which was being renovated by the Navy at a cost of Rs. 3 billion. This is being transformed into a boutique hotel with three floors and a rooftop swimming pool to be completed in December this year.
The 183-year old Grand Oriental hotel (GOH) which was dilapidated and where flooding took place during rain, has been refurbished at a cost of Rs.250 million and handed over to Water’s Edge for management. “There are some Singapore investors who are interested in this hotel as this resembles the legendary Raffles hotel (in Singapore),” Mr. Perera said,




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