China appears to be ramping up on its development involvement in Sri Lanka as another Chinese firm has committed to invest $800 million for the underground road network that will serve the country’s $1.4 billion Port City mega project. Work is expected to commence soon.
In a statement, the Sri Lankan government announced this week that a deal has been signed with China Communication Construction Company (CCCC) for the building of roads designed to decongest the anticipated heavy traffic in and around of the Port City area once it becomes operational.
It is understood that the CCCC will undertake the massive project through its local partner China Harbour Engineering Company, which is owned in part by the national government.
Construction Begins Q4 2018
Reuters reported that work on the underground road network will start late this year, around the same time that the Port City reclamation is slated for completion. Barring unforeseen delays, Colombo said the reclamation that will cover 269 hectares of total land area will be finished by the end of the year.
To date, the work progress has been pegged at 60 percent and already spanned the capital’s original port area and the centre of the city’s commercial district.
The national government has indicated that tax incentives will be offered to draw in further investments to the Port City. Colombo is projecting that over the next three decades, the Port City will attract fund infusions of up to $15 billion that will see the construction of marinas, health facilities, schools and housing within and around the project area.
Roadmap To Prosperity
The Port City, which is part of China’s modern “Silk Road” that will straddle across Asia, is envisioned by Sri Lanka as its roadmap to prosperity, The Daily Mirror said in a related report. The master plan for the project indicated that the Port City will be built as extension to Colombo’s Central Business District (CBD), thereby seeing the establishment of five extension districts.
In every district, a healthy environment of live, work and play will be encouraged, the report added.
“The soul of the project is sustainability and quality lifestyle. The urban structure of the Port City is designed for liveability, social security, tolerance and inclusion, thereby contributing to a higher quality of life,” The Mirror reported, quoting the project’s recently revised Development Control Regulations (DCR) master plan.