Deal With TATAs on Housing Project is Unacceptable, Karunanayake

Karunanayake said, government is reviewing the USD 430 mn TATA Housing Project because the deal with the earlier Rajapaksa govt is unacceptable.

Published: 10th March 2015 12:39 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th March 2015 12:39 PM   |  A+A-

Lankan-Finance-Minister-Ravi-Karunanayake-ENS

In this photo, Sri Lankan Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake. (ENS)

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake has said that the government is reviewing the USD 430 million TATA Housing Project because the deal entered into with the earlier Mahinda Rajapaksa government is unacceptable.      

 

“ The Tatas come in and say they will put in US$250 million, but they put in US$20 million, use our land, and sell it back to us for a higher price. How does that work?” Karunanayake asked in an interview to South China Morning Post published on March 9.

 

On February 25 the Sri Lankan cabinet decided to do a “complete review” of the TATA’s massive housing project for the underprivileged in downtown Colombo. The grounds given at that time were that the people at the site had been evicted illegally and proper compensation was not paid.

 

 “The review is part of a review of all foreign projects, including Chinese and Indian,” cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne clarified at a briefing on February 26.

 

Though deemed to be a welfare project to give shelter to 65,000 families living in over crowded and dilapidated houses in the very heart of Colombo, the housing project was resisted by the residents. Human Rights groups and the media took up the cause of the underdog, albeit unsuccessfully..    

 

The project envisaged construction of three apartment blocks comprising 40 storeys, each containing 580 housing units, each unit being of 400 sq ft.  The construction was entrusted to the TATA Housing Development Ltd., which had formed a local company named “One Colombo Ltd.,” for the purpose. The TATA’s were to recover their investment by building 96 luxury housing apartments. Construction was expected to be completed in two-and-a-half years.

 

The total cost for providing relocation houses/commercial units was estimated at Rs. 5.8 billion (USD 43.6 million) including rental payments for temporary accommodation of the evicted families.

 

At its launch, the Defence and Urban Development  Ministry, claimed that almost all the families had agreed to renounce their rights to claim compensation for the respective land plots as they were to be provided with permanent houses with all facilities within two to three years.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp