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Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Patali Champika Ranawaka says the newly introduced certificate assessing impact on motor traffic congestion, will be taken into consideration before granting permission to the private sector to construct new housing complexes.

Speaking at a media briefing in Colombo today, the Minister said a solution will also be provided to housing issues faced by those residing in shanties.

Minister Ranawaka said he would like to state that the government is going to intervene with regards to individuals living in slums within city limits adding that the government also hopes to solve housing issues faced by the middle class by 2023.

The Minister said the government isn’t going to solve the housing issue haphazardly by granting permission to the private sector adding that it will only issue permits to those who have expertise in the field.

Minister Ranawaka said furthermore a certificate titled the Traffic impact Assessment Report has been introduced adding that the government will not allow anyone that does not possess this certificate to construct a housing scheme in future.

The Minister noted this will not impact the general public.

Minister Ranawaka said public transportation services must be strengthened in order to avoid motor traffic congestion.

Minister Ranawaka said solutions for traffic congestion need to be sorted out adding that the stance of the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development is that the public transport service must be strengthened.

He noted the Ministry will initiate a 3 step plan adding that firstly the ministry will combine the location of main bus and train terminals in suitable key locations.

He added the Ministry hopes to initiate one such terminal in Maakumbura Kottawa this year adding that furthermore the first phase of the Colombo Fort Main Terminal will also be initiated this year.

He said additionally next year the government hopes to use government funds to construct transport centres in Panadura, Moratuwa, Piliyandala, Maharagama, Kottawa, Kaduwela, Kadawatha and at the 18th Mile Post.

The Minister said the second phase would be to introduce a light rail transit service adding that the ministry initiated one phase of this plan this year.

He further noted the next thing that can be done is to make the existing public bus service more efficient.

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