Government Policy on Physical Development

Sri Lanka needs a policy on ‘Physical Development’ for the country. We have seen that during the previous government, there was a ‘facelift’ in Colombo and its suburbs. While appreciating it, I would like to see that happens all over the island with a ‘theme’ or a ‘concept’. For an example, the Singaporean concept of, City in a Garden; Singapore has a land-use plan developed with the help of UN Experts during the early 1970 s’ and it is followed and improved upon from time to time.

We need to identify activity zones which UDA has done to a certain extent. However, it has not covered the island and it is not followed strictly. For an example, all government institutes in the Western Province should be relocated to Sri Jayawardanapura Kotte, but it has not happened.

Just having a concept is not sufficient; law enforcement, providing land areas, and supportive infrastructure are needed. Professional bodies, universities, university students, experts in the industry should work together to make this possible. We also need strict regulations on construction and standards, and a institute to regulate it.

We should also have a land policy; rather than having few storied buildings alone, (even for residential buildings) we could go for high-rise combined with other infrastructure linked with those.

~ Madhangi Alwis

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