During a meeting held at the Presidential Secretariat on May 14, President Ranil Wickremesinghe announced that a Cabinet sub-committee would be appointed to implement the Surbana Jurong plan for the development of the Western Province and a new agency would be established for this purpose.
The President stressed the need for comprehensive development in the Western Province through a formal city development plan, stating that informal development could become uncontrollable. The Western Province contributes about 50 per cent to the country’s economy, making its development crucial.
President Wickremesinghe instructed officials to present the development plan for the Eastern Province to the Cabinet. He also reminded everyone that the first plan related to the development of the Western Province was presented by Minister Indika Gunawardena in 1997 but was never implemented.
The plan presented by Surbana Jurong Company in Singapore in 2004 also suffered a similar fate. The President urged officials to discuss the revised plan proposed by the company in 2015 and come to an urgent decision on the basic development plan needed for the Western Province, with further amendments if necessary.
The President was presented with the main development plan proposed to be implemented in the Western Province through the Urban Development Authority, and officials also discussed the release of land and land acquisition for the implementation of development works. President Ranil Wickremesinghe instructed officials to speed up the work.
Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Ministers Susil Premajayantha, Prasanna Ranatunga, Bandula Gunawardena, Wijayadasa Rajapakshe, Nalin Fernando, Member of Parliament Yadamini Gunawardena, Presidential Senior Adviser on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff Sagala Ratnayake, Presidential Senior Adviser on Climate Change Ruwan Wijewardena, President’s Secretary Saman Ekanayake and a group of government officials including ministry secretaries attended the discussion.