Sri Lanka ‘examining’ Tata housing project
Sri Lanka has said that a $400 million housing project by Indian conglomerate Tata group is being reviewed, weeks after the country's new government said it was looking for a fresh start into the first-of-its-kind township plan.
"We are also examining a housing project by Indian conglomerate Tata. The Tatas come in and say they will put in $250 million, but they put in $20 million, use our land, and sell it back to us for a higher price. How does that work?" Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake told Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post. Tata launched the $400 million housing project last year in central Colombo that involved the displacement of 65,000 people. The scale of displacement and the compensation offered have been a sore point with former president Mahinda Rajapaksa's opponents, it said. The government had decided to recommence the whole project from the very beginning, Cabinet spokesman and Minister of Health Rajitha Senaratne had said on February 26.
Meanwhile, Tata Housing spokesperson refused to comment on the matter. In May 2014, the first phase of the project was launched to build a four tower apartment block with 650 units in the Slave Island business district of Colombo. The project was launched on a three acre area out of a total of 8 acres which has been released from the families. The Colombo project is mixed use township.