Lack of planning in mushrooming high rise apartments

By C. Candappa

High rise apartments going up sky high in Colombo, Sri Lanka are very much in vogue today. Down one lane in Wellawatta for instance, at E. S. Fernando Mawatha, there are four huge apartment blocks on one narrow and congested road.

The congestion caused by apartment dwellers and traffic combined is unimaginable. There is no planning permission to build, seen in this country and the CMC, UDA and Central Environment Authority together must take the rap.

At Kinross Avenue in Bambalapitiya two apartment blocks have already come up at the bottom end and at the top end. Feverish construction is going on minus safety nets at another site up the road. Who or where is the Central Authority looking into these matters? It is said that a fourth block is on the drawing boards here on this lane.

There is no objection to sitting these high rise towers in the country but it is high time that something meaningful in this direction is done to stop mad urban development.

The city needs more parks and playgrounds for children, while adults too need a few wide open spaces at various points in the city. Cannot something be done even at this late hour?

In constructing these ‘Tower’ apartments, no attention is paid to the frontage. Roads invariably are broken up, and piles of rubble and stone are strewn around.

The area then becomes degraded. I would invite the Authority Chiefs of the CMC, CEA and UDA to come to the bottom end of Kinross Avenue and see the parlous situation of these areas. As soon as the tower blocks are completed the owners could not give a damn.

This country is truly crazy. As that Latin tag goes ‘O tempora o mores’!

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