No income from Lotus Tower
By Shiran Ranasinghe
Although the Lotus Tower, which was constructed with a loan of Rs 18,800 million obtained from China’s Exim Bank and opened on 16 September 2019, up until now it did not generate any income.
A top official of the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission told Ceylon Today that Rs. 560 million has to be paid annually as interest for the loan obtained to construct the Tower. It is said to be the highest tower in South Asia and nineteenth in the list of tallest towers in the world. No local or foreign tourists frequent the Tower as was envisaged. It comprises a rotating restaurant and was expected to attract local and foreign tourists. The COVID outbreak has exacerbated the situation further.
However, there are plans to convert the tower to a communication centre. Plans to rent out the floors of the Tower have also proved futile.
Although attempts were made to contact the Chairman of the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission to inquire into the state of the Lotus Tower, there was no response from the Chairman’s official telephone. Responding to an inquiry made by ‘Ceylon Today,’ the Minister of Mass Media, Keheliya Rambukwella said the Tower which was to have been opened in 2016 did not open but dragged on.
Although the then Rajapaksa administration had planned to create a special tourist zone to attract tourists, subsequent to 2015 all plans have stalled, the Minister said. He, however, said the Lotus Tower and surrounding areas will be made attractive to both local and foreign tourists and arrangements will be made to earn the expected income.