INSS holds discussion on Port City Colombo issues | Sunday Observer

INSS holds discussion on Port City Colombo issues

28 March, 2021
The discussion in progress
The discussion in progress

The Institute of National Security Studies (INSS) held a public lecture on Friday at the institute premises. Experts from the Tri-Forces, academia, diplomatic fields and from Urban Development Authority were present.

The event was the first discussion convened on the Colombo Port City Project following the Cabinet approval granted on March 24, on Port City legislation.

The discussion aimed to address present and future issues related to the setting up of the Port City on how the authorities should ensure national security.

The lecture was moderated by Director General of the INSS and Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Admiral (Prof.) Jayanath Colombage  and the guest speaker was  Director General (Development) of State Ministry of Urban Development, Coast Conservation, Waste Disposal and Community Cleanliness, S. K. A. P. Devaraja.

The guest speaker outlined the development plan touching upon the connectivity between infrastructure of Port City and Colombo, the land ownership of the project; as gazetted under the State Lands Ordinance and the master plan; where 74 marketable plots are categorised with five districts (Financial, the Marina, the International Island, Island Living, Central Park Living).

She said that there would be a well-defined road system, green network, network of public open places. With the extensivity of the project, the partnership between Government and Project Company in terms of security issues were discussed especially pertaining to environmental, economic and military security.

Pertaining to ensuring environmental security, it was noted that the first Environmental Impact Assessment on Port City was done in 2011 and consequently a Supplementary Environmental Impact Assessment was completed in 2015. The report linked environmental aspects for the first time to socio economic implications. In terms of economic growth and implications, it was stated that there would be a Light Railway Transit (LRT) within Port City as well.

However, it was brought to light that a discussion on the security plan for the Colombo Port City Project is yet to be finalised. The gathering said that there should be an integrated approach for national security within the Port City incorporating the three forces, the police and firefighters. The need to allocate a responsible authority to maintain the breakwater to fill the current vacuum of authority was discussed.

The discussion concluded with the project to be treated not as a plot of land but more as a facility and appropriate policies and practices must be implemented to reap the maximum advantage from the project.