Recent developments regarding Slave Island project disappointing, says Tata Housing
Tata Housing expressed deep disappointment on the alleged press reports that have appeared over the past two weeks quoting some government authorities regarding the new government’s decision to review the project based on allegations that are not factual in nature. Such actions by the government discredits the authorities in Sri Lanka that have been engaging with Tata Housing over the past three and half years and have granted multiple approvals for the project based on its merit. Besides, such arbitrary actions will also adversely impact confidence of overseas companies to make future investments in Sri Lanka.
Tata Housing today provided the factual details of the project to refute the allegations reported in various media reports over the last two weeks quoting various government authorities and reiterated its commitment to the Slave Island Project.
One-Colombo Project (Pvt) Ltd, ultimate subsidiary of Tata Housing Development Company Limited, has partnered with the Urban Development Authority (UDA) to participate in the vision of the Sri Lankan Government to uplift the standards of living for inhabitants of the under-served areas in Colombo city and provide better infrastructure to the city of Colombo. Under the partnership,
One-Colombo has been entrusted with the re-development of eight acres of land located in Slave Island, Colombo.
Under the re-development project, One-Colombo is developing around three acres of land for rehabilitation of the inhabitants in lieu of which, around four acres of land, net of areas for roads and public infrastructure, has been granted for a mixed use development project to One-Colombo.
The whole process of land acquisition including negotiating with the inhabitants, payment of rental and compensation, signing of the agreements and demolition of earlier buildings was handled solely by the UDA. In accordance with the terms of the contractual understanding with UDA, One-Colombo has reimbursed the rental and compensation payment to the UDA and given guarantees to ensure completion of the redevelopment buildings.
Prior to commencement of construction, Tata Housing has been closely coordinating with the UDA over the past two years to develop the design for the redevelopment building which has been reviewed by the UDA multiple times and has taken into account the requirements of the inhabitants as communicated by the UDA. The re-development buildings, which shall provide nearly 100 commercial units and 550 homes in three towers aims to provide bigger than original dwelling areas and other benefits such as better amenities, parking, safety and hygiene to significantly improve the living standards of the inhabitants. Besides, the project will also provide an additional commercial area to generate income for maintenance and upkeep of the building.
Tata Housing assumes that before the execution of the project agreements, UDA has followed the due process which includes getting the necessary approvals from ministry, cabinet, board, chief valuer etc. Further we also understand that land acquisition has been done as per the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act which includes publication of the various gazette notifications and vesting orders to vest the title with the UDA. Only once the title was vested in favour of the UDA, the land for re-development building and mixed development was handed over to One-Colombo in June 2014.
Highlighting its factual position on the matter, the company spokesperson said that the project has been identified as a Strategic Development Project under the agreement with Board of Investments wherein it has made a commitment to invest US$ 429.5 Million over a period of eight to ten years with a foreign direct investment of US$ 130 Million over this period. Tata Housing has already infused significant capital in the project to commence the construction work for the redevelopment of buildings.
He further added. “The Tata Housing is committed to its flagship project in Sri Lanka that promises to be a model project to uplift the high density underserved areas of the city, provide the inhabitants with better healthy life and transform the urban areas. In line with the Tata group ethos, Tata Housing abides by a strict code of conduct and always acts in accordance with the laws and procedures laid out by the country it operates in. As a responsible company, we are keen to cooperate with the new government and the UDA for ensuring the long-term success of this project.”