Govt. to acquire 7 acres of prime land
Aug 17, 2012
The Urban Development Authority is to acquire a commercially viable landmass of seven acres from the Colombo city area for a special project, by evicting at least 500 families, it is learnt.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has issued the special gazette notification in this regard on May 4, 2012 under the Urban Development Projects (Special Provisional) Act. According to the gazette notification, these lands are located in the Hunupitiya, Wekanda and Kompanna Veediya (Slave Island) areas of the Colombo Divisional Secretariat.

According to the notification, the lands will be acquired for a special development scheme. Asked for a comment in this regard, a UDA official said people occupying these lands did not have proper housing facilities.

"There will be a housing project for the families earmarked for eviction. These lands are densely populated. There is no way to solve their housing problem. We will launch a special housing scheme for them ," he said.

The government has already evicted 1500 families from Colombo while 450 of them have been relocated in Dematagoda. There are some hotel projects being planned in the Colombo Municipal area.

UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake said his party sought legal redress for some of the evicted families. "That is how we got these 450 families relocated in Dematagoda," he said.

Colombo Mayor A.J.M. Mussamil said he was unaware of such a plan to acquire land in these areas. However, he said these lands are owned by the people, and therefore it would not be easy to deprive them of their original residences.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka