Sri Lanka says mega port city project met key conditions

Colombo, March 17 (IANS) The Sri Lankan government on Thursday insisted that a mega port city project has met some key conditions and has, therefore, been approved to resume work.

The approval for the project was given earlier this week after it remained suspended for a year.

Local environmental groups have raised concerns over the project and its impact on the environment.

However, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said the environment concerns over the project were cleared.

He said the government ensured the concerns, including those raised on the impact to the environment from the project, were addressed before the project was cleared to recommence work, Xinhua news agency reported.

The $1.4-billion project which will be the first of its kind in South Asia began construction adjacent to the Galle Face Green and near the Colombo Harbour in September 2014 under the previous government.

However, it was suspended by the new government of President Maithripala Sirisena in March last year, six months after it began construction. The new government said that the project needed to be reviewed.

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