MCUDP completes first phase :
World-class public conveniences in the City soon
|One of the
public convenience complexes
Clean and hygienic
Facilities of an international standard
items would be used
The City of Colombo is being transformed into a modern and
well-planned metropolis, modelled on the lines of developed countries,
with a lot of development activities and beautification programs.
When the city is developed on a fast track with many city centres
being converted into tourist and public attractions, the provision of
common public conveniences has also become a very important aspect in
Many visitors to the city know the embarrassing situation they have
to face when they need to relieve themselves within the city as many of
these public conveniences are in a dilapidated, unclean and unhygienic
Identified as one of the priority issues to be addressed in the city
development process, the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development has
initiated the process of improving the public convenience complexes
within the city.
The Metro Colombo Urban Development Project (MCUDP), a flagship
project of the Government implemented under the Ministry of Defence and
Urban Development and guided by the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence
and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa, has come out with the solution
and is ready to commission seven public convenience complexes developed
in the Colombo city on June 25 as the first package of the mega project.
The MCUDP, costing US$ 223 million (Rs.29,000 million), financed by
the World Bank under a concessionary soft loan facility, is the largest
urban regeneration project in the country.
It targets the development of the Colombo city and suburbs such as
Dehiwela - Mount Lavinia, Sri Jayawardenapura and Kolonnawa, that come
under the Metro Colombo area.
The main objective of this project is to complement the present urban
regeneration programs of the Government of Sri Lanka in the Metro
Colombo region. The largest component of the project is aimed at
reducing the physical and socio-economic impact of flooding in the Metro
Colombo region. The other component is to improve the priority
infrastructure in the Colombo city.
“I am happy to say that the MCUDP started on July 10, 2012 and within
less than a year, we managed to complete the first phase of the project.
We are ready to commission seven public convenience facilities on June
25 (Tuesday), by the Environment and Renewable Energy Minister Susil
Premajayantha and Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban
Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa”, Rohan Seneviratne, Project Director of
the Metro Colombo Urban Development Project and Additional Secretary to
the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development said.
“These public convenience complexes are important to the city because
a lot of people, tourists, important personnel and the public travel to
the city every day. Even though we have a city population of about
600,000, there is floating population of about 400,000 each day visiting
the city for various purposes”, he said.
“We did not have proper public convenience facilities for them. We
had some public conveniences, but they were dilapidated and not
constructed properly and people could not use those facilities.
So we identified this as a very important requirement of the city as
the cities all over the world have public convenience facilities of
better standards”, he said.
Seneviratne said under this project component of the MCUDP, 14 public
convenience complexes are to be developed; under phase one of the
project, seven complexes have already been completed.
These complexes are located at 108, Vauxhall Street, Colombo 2; No.
98, Galle Road, Wellawatte; 43, Galle Road, Bambalapitiya; No.90,
Piyadasa Sirisena Mawatha, Colombo 10; No.110 A, Saunders Place, Colombo
11; No. 125/R01, York Street, Colombo 1 and No. 17, Nagalagama Street,
“The complexes are equally distributed in the city so that people
coming to different parts of the city can use them for their
requirements”, he said.
Explaining further about these complexes, Seneviratne said they
conform to international standards, with separate sections for males and
The Male section has facilities such as three or four toilets and
urinals, washbasins, mirrors, hand-driers and all other facilities
available in modern public convenience complexes.
These complexes are tiled up to the ceiling. Ample light and
ventilation too are provided inside the toilet complexes.
“We have used special materials for the roof so that natural light
will enter the entire complex. We can save electricity by doing that”,
These complexes are designed in such a way that they get a lot of
sunlight into the complex, making it possible to be kept clean and easy
for inspections. “All the bathroom fittings that we use are of high
quality”, Seneviratne said.One special feature of these convenience
facilities is that they have a toilet for disabled people.
A ramp is available for them to go straight to the disabled facility
and that has all the internationally accepted conditions and utensils.
“The contractors have done a good job. We managed to get them to go
for the highest quality and to complete the project within the
prescribed time-frame”, Seneviratne said.
These toilet complexes, once commissioned, will be handed over to the
Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) to be properly operated and managed.
“It is their responsibility to operate and manage these complexes
properly. If we don’t manage them properly, there is no purpose in
having these in the city and within a couple of days, the standard of
these complexes will come down.
So, we have told the Commissioner of the CMC and the staff well in
advance that we need to select proper contractors to manage these
complexes”, he said.
“We will charge a small fee from the users of these complexes. Then
the person who manages these complexes have to do the management as per
the prescribed conditions. We have laid out strict guidelines and
conditions to maintain these complexes. That is the most important
part”, he said.
It will be a huge task before the Colombo Municipal Council
Commissioner and the CMC staff to manage these affairs well.
The Ministry of Defence and Urban Development will also put in place
a mechanism to supervise the CMC's management of these complexes.
“If the contractors are not performing well, we have to terminate
their contracts and employ new contractors. We will be very strict on
this”, he said.
“We have already spent about Rs. 58 million for these seven complexes
and we are ready to go ahead with the balance seven projects”, he said.
“ May be we can add more toilet complexes depending on the funds. But
one of the problems we face is finding space. We can’t have these
complexes in hidden places.; they should be visible. If we find more
space and if there are funds, we can think of constructing more public
convenience facilities in the city”, he said. Work on the public
convenience complexes has been carried out by the engineers and
architects of the Colombo Municipal Council.
The engineers in the project management unit also contributed a lot
to the successful completion of the project.
“The World Bank is also very committed to this project and we should
appreciate their commitment to make this project a success”, he said.
“I must mention the directives and the guidance given by the
Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development throughout
this process. During the formulation and designing of the project, he
personally looked into each and every step.
That was a huge input for the completion of this project. I am happy
as the Project Director of the Metro Colombo Urban Development Project
and as Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban
Development about its successful completion,” Seneviratne said.