Oct 13, 2019

Ceremoniously opened lotus tower remains closed for public till next year

Although open, the Colombo Lotus Tower would remain closed for public viewing until next year as it has not yet been fully completed, Project Director Shantha Gunananda said.

He said the construction company, CEIEC, has refused to hand over the project till next year because the tower has been opened by President Maithripala Sirisena when the project was incomplete.

Speaking to Daily Mirror, Mr Gunananda said the TV and radio broadcasting and transmission from the tower could be commenced mid next year.

He said the Chinese construction company has not yet informed about the estimated cost for the future expenses to complete the tower.

“The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission has paid its attention to this issue,” he said.

In early September, Cabinet approval was given to set up a new state-owned enterprise (SOE) to commercialise the Lotus Tower and handle its financial operations.

Mr Gunananda said the delay in the opening of the tower was an obstacle to invest in it and set up an SOE to manage it.

USD 104 million was spent for construction of the tower and eighty per cent of the cost has been funded by the EXIM Bank of China.

The tower comprises a telecommunication museum, a restaurant, supermarkets, food courts, conference halls with a seating capacity for 400 people, a 1,000-seat auditorium, luxury hotel rooms, ballrooms and an observation gallery.

At the opening of the tower on September 16, President Sirisena alleged that there was no trace of the Rs. 2 billion which was paid as an advance to one of the Chinese construction companies.

(Daily Mirror)