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Job security for Water's Edge employees

The Urban Development Authority will introduce a programme to benefit Water's Edge employees who are laid off and in risk losing their jobs after the ownership of the

224-acre Water's Edge land was officially handed back to the State from developer Asia Pacific Golf Course Pvt. Limited following a Supreme Court ruling that the sale and the acqusisition of the property to the latter was illegal.

There are 550 employees whose jobs are threatned and we are are looking at their problem humanely, said the Chairman of Urban Development Autho-rity(UDA), Dr. Prathap Ramanujum on being asked what will be the fate of those laid off employees at their recently acquired property.

"This is a human issue we are going to address for the benefit of these employees although we are not bound by any legal obligation to provide them with jobs or anything," he said.

Asked how they plan to help Water's Edge Employees, Dr. Ramanujam said , " The Minister of Urban Development Dinesh Gunawardena had appointed a Committee comprising officials of the Central Environment Authority , The UDA and the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development

Corporation (SLLR&DC) to devise a master plan for the development of the property in which we plan to accommodate a scheme for the benefit of these employees.

Asked whether the UDA will pay compensation to the affected employees , he answered in the affirmative. " The jobs of skilled workers may be preserved," said. Dr. Ramanujam who is also the the chairman of the Committee. He said, the UDA will introduce a specific scheme for the employess in its master plan, which it plans to complete in a month.

The Committee is in the process of submitting project proposals to devise the master plan for the development of the property at Water's Edge, in which we plan to accommodate a scheme to compensate the employees by various means, he added.

"The Master Plan will be submitted to the Supreme Courts," he said.

The UDA is due to take over the property on February 8 next year in accordance with the Supreme Court ruling. Dr. Ramanujam said , the committee met twice to discuss the master plan .

The committee comprises UDA General Manager Prasanna Silva, Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation Chairman Karunasena Hettiarachchi, and General Manager Shyama Gunawardena, Central Environment Authority Chairman Udaya Gammanpila and Director General Pasan Gunasena.

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