Port City agreement to be revised

The Colombo Port City Development Project agreement will be revised shortly to rectify all its defects and tie up lose ends, International Trade State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe said. Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, he said the project would be recommenced under the revised agreement, adding that the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report on the project has also been finalised at the moment.

He noted the clause that gives the outright ownership of 20 hectares of land to the Chinese company would be removed, adding that under the revised clauses, Chinese submarines would not be allowed to enter without permission.

Senasinghe said a 'no fly zone' could not be operated as of the revised clauses of the agreement.

"These agreements which were signed under the previous regime cannot be cancelled. However, all the Clauses which are harmful to Sri Lanka have been revised. The project will be carried out in a manner that will be productive and beneficial to our country. The irregularities in project finances have also been rectified. Thereafter this agreement will not be anything more than that of an ordinary commercial agreement. The construction work will resume by the beginning of next year," he said.

The project is undertaken by the China Communication Construction Company and is an investment of about USD 1.5 billion. The project extends to about 270 hectares on a reclaimed land adjacent to the Colombo Port.