Town planners have a major role to play in making Sri Lanka the Wonder of Asia, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said. “Town planning should be realistic. Co-ordination and dialogues are required to implement town planning. Low-income groups should be relocated,” the Defence Secretary said at the World Town Planning Day held at the BMICH, Colombo yesterday.
It was estimated in 1998 that around 65,000 families live in shanties. This number has gone up now and it can be around 75,000. This means half of the people living in the Colombo city live in shanties, he said.
“At least Rs 2.5 million is required to resettle one of these families at a small housing unit. Town planning comes here. We have to find money to relocate these families. As soon as this idea was put forward there was opposition. Giving a better life for the people is what is important, not acquiring valuable land,” the Defence Secretary said.