Jaffna town’s redesign discussed

[TamilNet, Thursday, 03 April 2003, 18:31 GMT]
A senior official of Sri Lanka’s Urban Development Authority (UDA) held a consultative meeting at the Jaffna District Secretariat Thursday on re-designing and rebuilding the Jaffna town. The head of the consortium of civil society organisations in Jaffna, Mr. S. Cyril, who took part in the consultation suggested that war damaged buildings should be demolished and that the new plan should do away with unplanned constructions which are causing congestion in the town.

Jaffna Map
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Jaffna town has few aspects of modern urban planning because it developed into its present form largely by periodic structural accretion over four centuries.

The additional government agent for Jaffna, Ms. Thilakanayagam Paul Paththiniyamma presided at the meeting with the Deputy Director of the UDA, Mr. R. Dharmasiri. Several academics and civil society leaders of Jaffna attended the consultation Thursday.

The Vice Chancellor of the Jaffna University, Mr. Pon. Balasundarampillai, said that model towns could be developed in the unpopulated Jaffna town outskirts of Kaakkaithivu and Navatkuli according to modern urban planning.

The head of the Jaffna NGO consortium, Mr. S. Paramanathan, told Mr. Dharmasiri to show UDA’s plan for redesigning the Jaffna town, if it had any, and that people in the peninsula could then make the corrections and show the problem areas.

Mr. Dharmasiri, however, said that the UDA is yet to draw up a plan for the Jaffna town but that he would welcome a plan or suggestions from those who took part in Thursday’s consultation.

The town has sections which reflect different periods of urban layout, starting from the time when the Portuguese held the place. As a consequence it would be very difficult to redesign the key areas according to modern principles of urban development an academic in Jaffna who is familiar with the subject told Tamilnet.

This is why the Jaffna University VC suggested the development of two satellites and then to plan the town’s development around them, he said.

 

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