Jaffna will be developed into a strategic city under the government’s Cities of the Future Programme, Megapolis and Western Development Minister Champika Ranawaka said. He said the government is setting the agenda for the management of future cities, and Jaffna will be developed into a strategic city conforming to the plans of envisioned future city management strategy.
“The envisioned development will take place starting this year, “Minister Ranawaka said. He said plans are being finalised to take Jaffna forward as a strategic economic, technical, cultural, social and democratic centre.
The minister said the ideas of leaders in Jaffna, constituent elements of the city, cultural values, natural resources, asset groups or capitals, democratic and political aspects will be taken into consideration in setting the development agenda.
He said the problem of flash floods, solid waste management and drinking water will be addressed on a firm footing under Jaffna City Strategic Management Plan.
Minister Ranawaka said the grip of terrorism impacted negatively on Jaffna’s development that after 1980 with development activities coming to a halt. As many middle-earning families migrated to the country’s South and foreign lands due to the situation, the economy in Jaffna collapsed. “However, since the end of the conflict that saw the country’s north and south being
engaged in commerce,there has been a growth in economic activity in the North,” the Minister said.
“The growth has not been confined to trade. It reflected positively on education in Jaffna. Jaffna’ socio-economic conditions are returning to normal,” he stated.
“It appears that those Sri Lankan Tamils who migrated to Toronto, Sydney, London, Paris and Berlin are sending considerable sums of monies to their relatives in Sri Lanka. Some people in Jaffna have said this has led to a situation of raised alcohol and drug abuse,”the Minister pointed out.
“Nevertheless, a new middle income class is now emerging in Jaffna under the circumstances, who need facilities that can cater to their dreams, needs, knowledge, creativity and motivation,” he said.
“Therefore, Jaffna needs a system of quality city infrastructure, physical and technological assets which can support their needs, business establishments, investments among other things,”Minister Ranawaka said.
“To resolve Jaffna’s drinking water problem,” the minister said, “saline water needs to be converted to drinking water or else, water must be made available through a new irrigation systems.”