June 23, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government announced that it plans to construct 7,500 housing units for the urban poor who live in underserved settlements in Colombo and adjoining areas.
Acting on a proposal put forward by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the government has launched a development programme through the Urban Development Authority (UDA) to provide housing facilities to the low income families living in the metropolitan area and suburbs.
The Cabinet has approved setting up of a Negotiating Committee and a Project Committee appointed by the Cabinet to evaluate the proposals from investors interested in the project.
In a press release the government said separate contracts have already been awarded for the construction of 4,393 housing units on the recommendation of those Committees.
Under the third step of the programme 1,034 housing units are to be constructed. Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation will handle the first phase of constructing 216 housing units at Salamulla in Kolonnawa.
The fourth step of the project will consist of constructing 31,500 housing units with 16,500 in the first phase to be funded by Unicorn Investment Bank of Bahrain. Another 7,500 housing units will be constructed initially within a period of one year.
Under the President’s directive the government has focused on improving the quality of 1,492 underserved settlements identified in the Colombo city and suburbs under the ‘Nagamu Purawara’ program.