The Metro Colombo Development and the Strategic Cities Development Project activities are being implemented since 2012 by the Urban Development Authority with World Bank assistance at a very low pace due to changes of the political policies under UNF regime.
As a result the additional expenses had to be incurred and the intended benefits had not been passed on to citizens in the urban areas, progress report of the two projects revealed.
Out of the allocation of US$ 213 million equivalent to Rs.27, 890.02 million made under the Metro Colombo Development Project implemented to improve the facilities within the Colombo Municipality and suburbs, only US$ 103.66 million equivalent to Rs.14, 890.18 million had been utilized as at 31 December 2018.
The activities under the construction works of t. Sebastian Canal and Kollonnawa Canal, constructions of flood control gates at Thalangama and Bauddhaloka Mawatha on construction works of tunnels at Mutwal and Torrington Place had been carried out in snail pace, the report pointed out.
The aim of the Metro Colombo Urban Development Project is to complement ongoing urban regeneration programs of the Government of Sri Lanka by reducing the physical and socioeconomic impacts of flooding in the Metro Colombo Region and improving priority local infrastructure and services.
The Project Development Objectives (PDOs) are to support the borrower to reduce flooding in the catchment of the Colombo Water Basin and strengthen the capacity of local authorities in the Colombo Metropolitan Area (CMA) to rehabilitate, improve and maintain local infrastructure and services.
MCUDP is jointly financed by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) of the World Bank Group and the Government of Sri Lanka. The total project cost is USD 321Mn (World Bank- USD 213Mn and Government -USD 108Mn).