SLEMA held its annual sessions at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH), Colombo, on 28th July 2017. This year’s sessions theme was “Meeting Energy Needs of Mega Cities”. The event attracted a spectrum of participants from the state and the private sectors as well as from the general public. Honorable Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, Minister of Power and Renewable Energy, in his keynote speech as the chief guest of the event, emphasized the importance of the involvement of professionals in preparation of plans to provide future energy demand.
Four virtuous resource persons shared their experiences and knowledge on ongoing activities, anticipated issues and feasible solutions focusing on future energy demand in Colombo and other major cities.
Eng. S. C. Diddeniya, Deputy General Manager (Distribution Coordination) of Ceylon Electricity Board and former Senior Project Coordinator at Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development explained the formation and characteristics of mega cities. Various factors are being considered when preparing plans to develop Colombo as a mega city. Transportation demands larger share of total energy demand in mega cities all over the world. Eng. Shantha Weerasinghe, Metro Rail Consultant, presented latest technologies which can be adopted to cater passenger demand in Colombo.
Archt. Dr. Narein Perera, Senior Lecturer, Department of Architecture, University of Moratuwa took listeners to a new dimension and explained the consequences which will be faced by Colombo if positioning of high rise buildings is done in an ad hock manner. Dr. Perera recommended a “Local Climate Zone” based approach to urban planning be adopted by Megopolis planners.
Prof. Sirimal Abeyratne, Department of Economics, University of Colombo, elaborated the economic advantages which can be obtained by concentrating businesses and people. Prof. Abeyrane emphasised that the location of cities like Colombo, Hambantota and Trincomalee inherits favourable features for international trading and those should be developed as mega cities to gain accelerated economic growth.
Presenters provided further clarifications to the specific questions which were raised by the audience at the panel discussion which was moderated by Dr. Tilak Siyambalapitiya, a past president of SLEMA.
The founder president of SLEMA, Prof. Mohan Munasinghe addressed the event and congratulated SLEMA on its successful journey from the beginning in early eighties up to this point. Further, he appreciated the performance of SLEMA members and encouraged them to excel further.