October 19, 2019
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    Lotus tower: Sri Lanka’s tallest building scheduled to open mid-Sept

    August 11, 2019

    Be it on-the-move, or peeping outside, the pride of Sri Lanka’s tallest structure, the Lotus Tower, is bound to grab your attention. Seated pretty, it’s reflected on the Beira Lake. The tower body, coated in green, leads to the top-tier. The top-most part or the tower house is built with multipurpose attractions and lavish luxuries, waiting to meet and greet its customers.

    With Its petals in purple, the tower is larger-than-life, that it could be sighted from a considerable distance. It’s easily visible from any nook and corner as it stands tall.The towering structure, gives an impression, that it’s silently observing the city. There are times, during inclement weather when the antenna mast installed in three sizes, to ease the load, tapering towards the top, disappears in to thin air. But, when it reappears, it is a gargantuan sight.

    Traversing back to where it all started, the construction was flagged off in December 2012, in its bid to rise and reach new heights. US $ 104.3 million was pumped in for the construction, as investment, courtesy a loan from the Export-Import Bank of China, and the contractors also became a Chinese affair with CEIEC being awarded the contract. Till 2017, its height was to be 350-metres. But, in the same year, the height was increased to 356-metres, growing further in to the sky. The official height of Sri Lanka’s Burj Khalifa is 356 metres.

    However, it was not all smooth sailing, with the opening ceremony becoming long overdue.Work having commenced in 2012, it ought to have been completed in 2015, but, negotiations with the contractors went haywire. The completion was extended to another four-years. There were several sub-contractors and since the project was getting delayed, none of the sub-contractors were willing to complete the work for the price originally quoted.

    “Though they were quoting higher amounts, we never gave in and eventually, they disintegrated leading us to hunt for alternate personnel,” the leader of the consultancy group, Prof. Samitha Marawadu,walked us through behind-the-scenes.“We’re in the process of taking over the building from the contractor, as it’s now completed. As part of the taking over, there’s ‘testing and commissioning’ to do. All the systems including the electro-mechanical have to be checked and certified by us,” he said of the status-quo.

    “Work is 100% over. It’s estimated to open to the public mid-September. The only part left is inspecting the systems. That is checking the systems, one-by-one and there are a large number of systems. My team is reviewing everything, now,” he said. Asked, as to when his team will reach completion, Prof. Marawadu, an engineer to the project responded, “Our task will be completed by Mid-August. There are 20-30 systems. Opening to the public is the government’s decision,”

    The tower body will have in-built vertical services and circulations.It will boast of several benefits, from elevators that will take you on a ride - eight elevators, in aggregate with five super high-speeds that will whistle up-and-down at seven-metres per-second. The engineering marvel means that the speeds of the ‘super high-speed’ elevators, surpasses that of Sri Lanka’s World Trade Centre, with its speeds up to three-metres per-second.

    Three at seven-metres while two at five-metres-per-second.The bud has eight floors. The lower two floors are for transmission equipment for broadcasting, telecasting and telecommunication networks. The two-upper (seventh and eighth) most-levels will be occupying water tanks and firefighting equipment.

    The four floors in between will have two banquet halls. Of the four floors, the two lower will have two 400-seater banquet halls. The uppermost, will be a 90-minute revolving restaurant.At the time of booking, if unoccupied, state guests will get a feel of a seven-star suite. An observation deck will be giving a panoramic view of the city and surroundings, for 200-persons, at-a-time.

    During day time, it’s a prominent structure, so it is in the night, shining with the flower’s colours, that it will compare with the Canadian National Tower. It resembles the CN Tower, in height and appearance.The tower will facilitate the transmission signals of scores of TV and radio stations.

    When it’s up and running, the 356-metre tower is on course to becoming the country’s centre of attraction.

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