Mumbai: Tata Housing has termed the Sri Lankan government’s plans to review its property project in Colombo ‘arbitrary’. Media reports say, the government would review the $400-million housing project by Tata Group.
Reacting to the proposed move by Sri Lanka, Tata Housing said: “Such actions by the government discredit the authorities in Sri Lanka that have been engaging with Tata Housing over the past three-and-a-half years and have granted multiple approvals for the projects based on merit.”
The company added in a release that such arbitrary actions would also adversely impact confidence of overseas companies to make future investments in Sri Lanka.
One-Colombo Project, a subsidiary of Tata Housing Development Company, partnered with the Urban Development Authority (UDA) of Sri Lanka to redevelop eight acres of land at Slave Island in Colombo.
One-Colombo is developing around three acres of land for rehabilitation of the inhabitants, in lieu of which around four acres of land has been granted to it for a mixed use development project.
Tata Housing said the whole process of land acquisition including negotiating with the inhabitants, payment of rental and compensation, signing of the agreements and demolition of earlier buildings was handled solely by the UDA. “In accordance with the terms of the contractual understanding with UDA,
One-Colombo has reimbursed the rental and compensation payment to the UDA and given guarantees to ensure completion of the redevelopment buildings,” it said.
Redevelopment buildings, which will provide nearly 100 commercial units and 550 homes in three towers, aim to provide bigger than original dwelling areas and other benefits such as better amenities, parking, safety and hygiene to significantly improve the living standards of the inhabitants, according to the company. Besides, the project will also provide an additional commercial area to generate income for maintenance and upkeep of the building, it said.
Tata Housing said before the execution of the project agreements, UDA must have followed the due process such as getting necessary approvals. “We also understand that land acquisition has been done as per the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, which includes publication of various gazette notifications and vesting orders to vest the title with the UDA. Only once the title was vested in favour of the UDA, was the land for re-development building and mixed development handed over to One-Colombo in June 2014,” it said.
The company spokesperson said the project was identified as a strategic development under the agreement with Board of Investment, wherein it made a commitment to invest $ 429.5 million over eight-to-10 years with a foreign direct investment of $130 million over this period. “Tata Housing has already infused significant capital in the project to commence the construction work for the redevelopment of buildings,” it said.
Tata Housing said it was keen to cooperate with the new government and the UDA “for ensuring the long-term success of the project”.