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29 development plans revoked by the UDA

At least 29 development plans have been repealed by the Urban Development Authority (UDA) issuing a controversial gazette notification recently under the signature of subject minister and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, a group of professionals alleged.

The cancellation of these plans devised during the previous regime have been announced by the UDA with the aim of legitimising new development plans with zonal factor under the proposed planning and development regulations, a move that has been vehemently objected to by relevant professionals and experts.

The proposed regulations have been strongly objected to in written submissions sent by the Surveyor General / Chairman Land Survey Council, Professionals’ National Front (PNF), Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka, Institute of Drafting Technologists Sri Lanka and several other relevant experts and professionals.

 Gazette Notification No. 2206/11 dated 15.12.2020 has been signed by the Prime Minister on 25.11.2020 amidst strong and serious legitimate objections, a leading PNF member

“It seems that the UDA officials have misled the Prime Minister and other officials in order to obtain the premier’s signature,” he alleged. “It is further vital to consider the legal position of said repealed Development Plans as they are no more valid from 15.12.2020 and any approval granted from 15.12.2020, until the revised plans are published, may be technically defective,” he added.

As stated by the Director General UDA these regulations were made public only in May 2019. Then it was rejected by almost all the sectors and not proceeded with, he disclosed.

As a matter of fact the UDA never discussed the regulations from last May 2019 to November 2020; and is now in the process of unlawfully publishing the same in the gazette by citing factually incorrect information, he alleged.

While after publishing the gazette on 15.12.2020 without any notification to the interested parties who have already submitted objections, Deputy Director General (Planning), UDA invited interested parties for discussions by the letter dated 18.12.2020, where the discussions were held on 23.12.2020.

At the discussions on 23.12.2020 UDA did not pronounce the gazette notifications already published; most probably with an agenda to publish the Proposed Regulations with the Development Plans with Zonal Factor, a representative who attended the meeting revealed.

“Not a single party approved the said proposed regulations at the discussions,” he said adding that ‘it was revealed that in the morning of the same day of 23.12.2020 more than 90 local authority persons were invited and had long discussions on the proposed regulations”. (DM)

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