September 16, 2019
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    Colombo Flood Control:South Pumping Station construction begins Featured

    August 22, 2019

    The construction work of St. Sebastian South Pumping Station, another major intervention to control floods in Colombo under Metro Colombo Urban Development Project functioning under the Megapolis and Western Development Ministry, was launched recently under the patronage of Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka.

    World Bank Sri Lanka/Maldives Country Director Idah Paswararyi Riddihough, Parliamentarians Mujibur Rahman and A.H.M. Fowzie, Metro Colombo Project Director Eng. A. H. Thushari and other senior officials also participated in this event.St. Sebastian South Pumping Station is equipped with two fully-automated pumps of 5m3/s each that can pump at a maximum capacity of 10m3/s during peak floods, to reduce flooding in Colombo city.
    The pumping station, constructed at St. Sebastian South Canal near Maradana, will pump stormwater from the Colombo catchment area into the Beira Lake, which will release the water to the sea through its McCallum Gates and Galle Face weir. It can automatically operate based on the changes of canal water levels and rainfall intensity. This project will directly benefit the Keselwatte, Maligawatte and Hulftsdorp areas and indirectly benefit the entire Colombo city by reducing the impact of flooding on property and day-to-day lives of the people.

    The government is investing Rs. 1,579 million for this pumping station. The project period is 17 months and the construction contract is executed by China Geo-Engineering Corporation. Consultancy services for construction supervision are provided by EPTISA, a Spanish company. The project-implementing agency is Sri Lanka Land Development Corporation.

    The Metro Colombo Urban Development Project is one of the major development projects functioning under the Megapolis and Western Development Ministry. The total cost of this project is US$ 321 million, out of which US$ 213 million is provided by World Bank as a concessionary loan and the balance US$ 108 million is invested by the government.

    This project is implemented with three broad objectives: reducing the socioeconomic impacts of flooding in the Metro Colombo region, improving priority infrastructure, and capacity building of project local authorities. In view of fulfilling these objectives, a number of initiatives are being implemented to minimise the difficulties caused by flooding in the Metro Colombo region, to improve urban infrastructure, and to build capacities of project local authorities.These interventions are being implemented by three Project Implementing Agencies (PIAs). They are Sri Lanka Land Development Corporation, Urban Development Authority and Colombo Municipal Council.

    The project is being implemented in four local authority areas in Colombo district, namely, Colombo Municipal Council, Dehiwala–Mount Lavinia Municipal Council, Sri Jayewardenepura–Kotte Municipal Council, and Kolonnawa Urban Council.Flood and drainage management, infrastructure development, urban development and capacity building of project local authorities, and implementation and institutional strengthening are the four main components of the project.

    Under the first and second components, 55 sub-projects are implemented, out of which, 41 have already been completed. The rehabilitation of the Galle Road and R.A. De Mel Mawatha, Colombo Town Hall Square Model Zone Development, Beddagana Bio-diversity Park Development and Modernization of Crow Island Beach Park are among the major projects completed.Of the 14 sub-projects currently under implementation, Torrington and New Mutwal Tunnel Construction, Kolonnawa Canal Diversion Scheme and Ambatale, and St. Sebastian North and St. Sebastian South Stormwater Pumping Stations are the major interventions.

    The Torrington Tunnel project consists of a main tunnel with a length of 1,100m that starts near Sirimavo Bandaranaike Vidyalaya, runs along Bauddhaloka Mawatha and meets the sea at Bambalapitiya beach. It also has a network of secondary tunnels with a length of 2,590m covering the flood-prone areas in Colombo 7. The other tunnel, New Mutwal, which has a length of 760m, starts at Aluth Mawatha in Colombo 15 and meets the sea near Modara fishery harbour. The project, which is presently under construction, costs around Rs. 6,000 million.It is expected that all interventions under the Metro Colombo Urban Development Project will be completed by 2020 and it is envisioned that Colombo would be a developed capital city with minimum flood impacts.

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