SC grants UDA two weeks to file proposed master plan
The Supreme Court yesterday granted Urban Development Authority (UDA)
two weeks time to file the proposed master plan that would make use of
the Waters Edge land for locating Government agencies as a means of
decentralization of the Colombo City.
The proposed master plan was in line with the Supreme Court judgment
in the Waters Edge Fundamental rights application against the alienation
of the UDA lands for the construction of the private resort and golf
Counsel Nihal Jayawardane for the UDA informed the court that the
deed alienating the land to the Asia Pacific Golf Course Ltd. had been
cancelled in terms of the court order. He also submitted that the UDA
had asked the Asia Pacific to return the original deed to the UDA.
The Court also directed the Attorney General to obtain the details of
the employees of the Waters Edge in order to address their grievances.
Counsel Uditha Egalahewa for the employees submitted that some 560
employees of the resort would lose employment once it stopped operations
and further submitted that it was hard to find employment else where due
to the current status of the hotel industry.
Earlier the Court annulling the Waters Edge transaction in its
entirety in last October had ordered the 225 acres of land to be
reverted to the Urban Development Authority within one month.
Also the UDA was ordered to pay back the cost of construction as at
the time of the construction as per the valuation of the Chief Valuer of
the Government Valuation Department. According to the order the Asia
Pacific Golf Course Ltd. is permitted to remove movable property and the
vacant possession free of any encumbrance to be handed over to the UDA
in four months before February 08.
Petitioners Sugathapala Mendis of Panadura and Raja Melroy Belassius
Senanayake complained to the court that the 225 acres of land in
Battaramulla which had been acquired by the UDA for public purpose were
alienated to Asia Pacific Golf Course Ltd. to construct a Golf Course
which levy Rs. 250, 000 for a member and a resort that were not
beneficial to the general public in violation of their rights as well as
the rights of the people of the country. J.C. Weliamuna appeared for the