Sri Lanka’s Urban Development Authority to renovate historic building Fort for commercial use
Sri Lanka’s Urban Development Authority (UDA) has initiated a programme to renovate the historic Gafoor building in Colombo Fort at a cost of Rs. 620 million as part of the UDA’s project to preserve the antiquity value of the building while making it available for commercial use.
The Gafoor building was built over 100 years ago by Noordeen Hajiar Abdul Ghaffoor, a pioneer jeweller and gem merchant and the five-storey building has a floor area of 8,250 square feet, local media reports stated.
The Gafoor building was gazetted as a ‘Protected Monument’ under the Antiquities Ordinance in 2000 but has thus far remained neglected with little renovation done on the landmark site, the Daily FT noted.
Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa who is the country’s Minister of Urban Development has instructed the UDA to undertake renovating old buildings in the Colombo city, including the Gafoor Building in a bid to preserve their antiquity while making them commercially viable.
The renovation work is being carried out by the Sri Lanka Navy and the University of Moratuwa on the instructions of the UDA.
Sri Lanka’s State Minister of Urban Development, Coast Conservation, Waste Disposal and Community Cleanliness Nalaka Godahewa, Secretary to the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing Nimal Perera and UDA Chairman Harshan de Silva had recently visited the Gafoor building to supervise the ongoing work.
The government of Sri Lanka has undertaken several projects to renovate old and historical buildings to be utilised for commercial purposes as well as part of the beautification programme of urban areas, especially in Colombo. This has opened up a host of business/investment opportunities since Sri Lanka’s economic activities were on a upward trajectory prior to the global Covid 19 lockdown. However, Sri Lanka shows signs of recording a rapid return to normal given the performance of the country’s key economic sectors. Sri Lanka’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean, ease of doing business environment and the many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country will serve as a catalyst in the quick return to normalcy by Sri Lanka’s economy.
|Article Code :||VBS/AT/16102020/Z_1|