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Homagama Tech City will be built with minimum damage, acquisitions - Ministry

The Homagama Tech City will be built on 450 acres of bare land and no major individual properties will be taken over as alleged by some, Ministry officials claimed yesterday.

“The Tech city in Homagama had been initiated to promote a knowledge based economy as opposed to the traditional economy and to rid the country from the middle income trap. Certain misled and misinformed political organisations are spreading false information to the public and causing unrest among citizens,” Ministry Additional Secretary Madhawa Waidyaratne said.

A press conference was held yesterday by the Ministry of Megalopolis and Western Development to clarify the issues of the Homagama Tech City that had created controversy earlier this week.

“These misled people and activists state the ministry is destroying houses and establishments to build this tech city. But in reality we have acquired 450 acres of bare land where only one house is built. Other activists’ point out that this is a project carried out in collaboration with Korea. This is a lie. Our department officials went to Korea to obtain specialist advice in transport, utility and land facets which will help engineers plan and execute the project accurately,” the Additional Secretary said.

“There is no denying that certain destruction to the environment is caused. But we have carried out a strategic environmental assessment with the Environment Ministry and minimised the destruction caused to nature,” he said.

“We have to expand the current access roads leading to the city and there is no need to acquire private individual lands for this process. However, lands of 28 families are to be acquired to construct the interior roads and due compensation will be paid to each of those families,” he said.

The construction is carried out according to the widely accepted sustainable development criteria. Therefore, the ministry guarantees that the citizens of Mahentanna and Pitipana will not be displaced.

“This Tech City opens new avenues of technology. Several universities including the Jayawardhanapura, Moratuwa and Colombo had begun constructing technical faculties. This project would further create new employment,” Ministry Secretary Nihal Rupasinghe said.