Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Independence Square shopping arcade Opened

The renovated old Auditor General's office complex, completed as part of the Independence Square Development programme was declared open by President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday evening (July 13).

President Rajapaksa unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion amidst the distinguished invitees at the opening.

Secretary Defence and Urban Development - Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the driving force behind the Colombo Development Programme was also present at the opening ceremony.

At the outset the keynote address was delivered by the Veteran artiste Jackson Anthony. The old landmark heritage site was given a new lease of life under a multimillion rupee project and is now an up market shopping precinct with modern facilities and conveniences.

The Colombo development programme is handled by the Urban Development Authority and the renovation and development work of the Auditor General's office complex project was carried out by the tri-forces personnel.

Adding another hot spot to the commercial capital's landscape, the new shopping facility will boast of 90,000 sq ft of floor space of which 40,000 sq ft will exclusively hold the 40 shopping stalls. It also comprises with a modern Film Theater, Leisure Park, and Walking Paths. Carefully manicured gardens and parking space will add to its conveniences.

A specially built pond with a glass platform over it is one of the added features of the new facility. Facilities are also there to host large events and gatherings.

Almost two years of time span was taken for the renovation process and a special care was taken during the renovation to preserve its original architectural features and originality while adding modern technological features and amenities. The grandeur of the colonial era complex comes alive especially during the night when special illumination features light up the entire area.

With a view to felicitate the work force, architects and landscape designers who contributed tirelessly to the oversize renovation work, certificates were awarded by the President Rajapaksa during the session.

Government Ministers, Chief Justice Mohan Peiris, Secretary to the President Lalith Weerathunga, Chief Minister of the Western Province  Prasanna Ranathunga, Chief of Defence Staff General Jagath Jayasuriya, Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake, Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral Jayantha Perera, Mayor of Colombo AJM Muzammil and a large gathering of distinguished invitees were present at the ceremony.

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