Academics expressed concern regarding the Megapolis structural plan over the issue of unregulated urbanization, calling it a problem which would cause imbalances in eco-systems in urban regions, areas which also included crop lands.
Senior Lecturer and Head of the Department of Town and Country Planning at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Moratuwa, Dr. Rangajeewa Rathnayake said that the population forecast for the Megapolis was based on slightly exaggerated population growth rates.
Social compatibility and environmental impacts must be considered when demarcating the exact boundaries and locations of the land being used for the construction of roads, transportation, industrial zones and housing in the Megapolis master plan, he added.
The governance aspects concerning the Megapolis plan, which is at present solely a structural plan, are not quite clear, he noted. The Megapolis will have an indirect impact on tackling issues pertaining to poverty and income generation associated with impoverished housing due to the matter of unemployment being addressed through industrial development, he explained.
“The top down approach is archaic and is not what is practised in other countries. The structural plan has been done in a short period of about three to four months. A mega city should normally have a population of 10 million in order to qualify as one,” he said.
He pointed out the need for guidelines concerning the things that are to take place. “Implementation must not be delayed. There must be a policy concerning transport. Multi-modal transportation systems are good even when considering carbon emissions,” he added.
“The future of the metropolitan city will to a large extent depend on emphasizing public transport over private (in Sri Lanka car dominated) transport,” he remarked.