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An interim workshop that marks the halfway point of the ongoing integrated urban development project preparation study (PPS) was conducted on May 30, 2019 in Matara City, Sri Lanka. The PPS is the first project to be implemented under the CDIA and Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) cooperation, which aims to improve the livability and resilience of Matara and the Greater Matara Area.
With the participation of 65 stakeholders representing the Matara Municipal Council (MMC), the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development (MMWD) and other key local and national agencies, the workshop served as a venue to present findings of previous consultations and analyses of infrastructure sectors like solid waste management, drainage, flood protection and urban regeneration.
“We are thankful for the contributions of all partners in the past three months of the study and the next step would be to identify priority sub-projects and bring them to feasibility or preliminary engineering stage to improve their readiness for possible downstream AFD financing,” said CDIA’s Urban Development Specialist Fabienne Perucca.
At the workshop, six sub-projects were identified to improve water drainage and flood defenses in Matara City, which include improvements in canals operation and wetland protection. These projects were tagged as priority measures based on flood protection scenarios. A capacity building roadmap will also be developed to ensure efficient and effective implementation of the sub-projects.
In terms of urban regeneration, four sub-projects were identified mostly on improving mobility and urban experience. These include putting in place the following: Matara Multi-modal transport hub, Peninsula bus station, traffic management in central area of the city, and a pedestrian corridor.
Finally for solid waste management, three comprehensive options were examined to address collection, transport, recycling, composting, treatment and final disposal. Further coordination and validation on the institutional and operational modalities are required.
MMWD Secretary Nihal Rupasinghe emphasized that, “the projects have to address both the immediate issues of Matara such as congestion, flooding, and urban regeneration at the same time take into account long term trends like climate change and the overall development vision of the government.”
Immediate steps after the workshop are to address some questions raised by stakeholders, and convene the steering committee to validate the identified sub-projects. After which, these will be subject to more in-depth studies, including the development of preliminary engineering design.
Click here for Related Story: Project Preparation Study in Matara City Well Underway