The government has hinted of a possibility of tearing down the famed Bambalapitiya flats if the conditions of the buildings and the foundation require such a measure.
Working Director of the National Housing Development Authority (NHDA), Shantha Jayawardhana confirmed that they would be going ahead with the re-development of the Bambalapitiya Flats regardless of the opposition from a certain faction of its residents.
Jayawardhana, however, added that they would not be evicting anyone.
“Based on the state of the foundations in the present flats and buildings, the NHDA may decide to demolish and reconstruct or we will simply refurbish the buildings and flats depending on the requirements and needs,” he said.
There will be a further 10 to 15 flats constructed in the same location, he noted while adding that they sought to expand the area to provide more opportunities for people to take up residence.
“The issue is that there are too many opinions at play here. We will not be unjust to anyone. There is no need to pay compensation as no one will be losing their homes. We are giving them exactly where they are living at present,” he said.
“The Uda-Gammanas’ and Adarsha Gammanas’ (model villages) were built during former President Ranasinghe Premadasa’s time to provide a roof over the head of those who did not have accommodation and other facilities. Now they have fallen into a state of disrepair. This is all part of a development programme,” he explained.
Director General of the Urban Development Authority, Sumedha Ratnayake said that the matter came under the purview of the NHDA or the Colombo Municipal Council.
Meanwhile, the government along with the NHDA is presently engaged in planning out a national programme for the re-development and renovation of dilapidated housing schemes, run down flats, and even decrepit and ramshackle model villages built under the Uda-Gammana and Adarsha Gammana special housing programmes.
Jayawardhana said that the President, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance were also keen on giving a facelift to these places in accordance with the present social trends.