Hon. Patali Champika Ranawaka
Minister of Megapolis and Western Development
Urbanization and the urban development have assumed a key role in development of the modern world. For the first time in history more than half the world’s population resides in cities and the world’s urban population now stands at 3.7 billion people. This number is expected to double by 2050.
Cities are engines of economic growth and cultural development and can offer countless benefits to their inhabitants. According to recent surveys, cities are responsible for disproportionately higher rates of economic growth when compared with rural areas: with just over 50% of total world population, cities generate more than 80% of global GDP.
To be in par with the massive development drive taking place in the rest of the world it is necessary to bring systematic changes and development processes into the urban community in Sri Lanka. That will ensure that inhabitants of urban areas become a part of socioeconomic development of the country while maintaining high levels in quality of life.
It is in this context that the new Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development was created in order to transform the entire Western Province into a Megapolis area to usher incomprehensive and development within the next five years. Towards this end, the proposed urban development and Megapolis initiative should extend beyond the mere notion of building structures or creating isolated urban enclave, but well established and balanced ecosystem which supports socio, cultural, economic and spiritual wellbeing of all citizens. I am very much pleased to forward the Annual Performance Report of the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development which summarizes the development activities initiated and the progress achieved during the year 2015. I am grateful to officials of the Ministry and the institutions functioning under the purview of the Ministry for their untiring efforts in compiling this publication.