Sri Lankan government to change structure of local government to pave the way for emergence of ‘mega cities’
Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe has reportedly said that the country needs to reconsider the structure of its local governments to keep up with changing times and the emergence of ‘mega cities’ like the planned Western Province Megapolis.
The Prime Minister made this observation during his key note speech at the World Cities Summit, International Water Week and Cleanenviro Summit in Singapore recently.
He has noted that Asian urban centers are taking the lead in integrating their national economies with global value and supply chains.
“Metropolitan regions with mega infrastructure is the key to transnational connectivity that enables global economic integration.”
Wickremesinghe has reportedly said that large cities have become centres of industrialisation and modernisation.
“They have reaped the benefits of economies of agglomeration. When firms and workers cluster together there is improved productivity and job creation. Mega cities have gone one step further: they have become highly productive centres which connect workers and businesses with global markets,” the Premier has said.
“Cities, therefore, have become hubs of wealth creation, attracting waves of people with opportunities for advancement not available in their villages.”
According to Wickremesinghe, the government envisions the Western Province of Sri Lanka, which includes Colombo and the capital Sri Jayewardenepura as a Megapolis of interconnected metropolitan areas.
This would include a light railway system with elevated railways, elevated highways, a multi-modal transport hub, the development of old waterways, and three LNG plants and encompass a Logistics City, a Forest City, and an Aero City.
“We will aim for maximum livability by implementing sewerage and solid waste projects, an Eco Zone, and Riverine Buffer Zone Development,” the Prime Minister has said, adding, “Plans for the megapolis were prepared by Surbana Jurong and the Ministry of Megapolis are in the initial stages of implementation.”
The statement by Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister in Singapore is an endorsement of the Sri Lankan government’s development agenda, especially based on the development of mega cities. The government has already launched several development projects under the initiative and has in fact formed a Megapolis Ministry as well. As outlined by the Premier, the government is looking at developing a light railway system with elevated railways, elevated highways, a multi-modal transport hub, the development of old waterways, and three LNG plants and encompass a Logistics City, a Forest City, and an Aero City. Interested foreign companies/businesses could look at investment opportunities in Sri Lanka.
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