Ministry of Urban Development and Sacred Area Development

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Urban Development


The country is experiencing a speedy growth in the urban population in par with global urbanization trend. The estimated average urban growth rate is 3 percent per year during 2005-2015 while annual population growth rate will be less than 1.2 percent. It is estimated that 50% of the total population will live in urban cities by the year 2015. The pace and magnitude of this urbanization means that the policies and strategies should be in place to ensure sustainable urban development and to minimize growing poverty in cities, improve accessibility to basic facilities for the urban poor. Therefore, a well planned path towards sustainable urban development has become a national priority.

The Urban Development Authority (UDA) one of the agencies under the Ministry of Urban Development and Sacred Area Development is responsible for the planning and development of urban areas throughout the country.

The UDA was established by the ACT No. 41 of 1978. Amendments to the act were made time to time wherever it was necessary.

According to the Act (Under section 3) the Minister in-charge of the subject of Urban Development declares the areas suitable for development.

The amendment made to the UDA Law 41 of 1978 in 1982 made it mandatory for the UDA to prepare Development Plans for all areas declared under section 3 of UDA law and also  authorized it to carryout physical development in such areas.

The city of Colombo Development Plan was prepared and gazetted by the UDA to implement zoning and building regulations. UDA planning and Building regulations were stipulated by the gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka  Extraordinary No.392/9 dated 10th March 1986.

The provisions of these regulations shall be applicable to the every area for the time being declared by the Minister by notification in the gazette to be an Urban Development Area.

Under section 18 of the UDA Act No.41 of 1978, the Authority may with the approval of the Minister in-charge of the subject of Urban Development, alienate, sale, lease, rent and rent purchase any land held by the Authority.

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