The McCallum Entrance Park on D. R. Wijewardena Mawatha, Colombo 10, rehabilitated under the Metro Colombo Urban Development Project (MCUDP), was declared open to the public on January 8 by Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka and Ports and Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranatunga.
Megapolis and Western Development Deputy Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna and Port and Shipping Deputy Minister Nishantha Muthuhettigama also participated.
Constructed at a cost of LKR 85 million, the park renovation was initiated by the MCUDP, established under Megapolis and Western Development Ministry. The MCUDP is funded through a concessionary loan from the World Bank.The park situated opposite the Lake House is part of the development initiatives of the MCUDP and was designed by the Urban Development Authority (UDA). The park incorporates the historic McCallum Lock Gates which comprise a bridge over a set of lock gates connecting East Beira Lake and the Colombo Harbour. It was built over 60 years ago to facilitate barge traffic between ships docked in the harbour and warehouses around Beira Lake. The lock gates maintains the water levels in the Beira Lake (artificially controlled) and helps mitigate floods in the Colombo Water Basin.
The park premises are owned by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority and the renovated park was handed over to the Ports Authority for future management and maintenance.
The MCUDP has identified the importance of opening up Beira Lake as a showpiece and a scenic water front area for recreation.
Accordingly, the park is the first of the central parks around Beira.
It is one of the connecting points of a series of linear parks that will be declared open to the public around Beira Lake in the near future.
The Park layout incorporates the three lock gates which connects to the Colombo Harbour, a marine museum, restoration of the historic artifacts situated within, and site-specific landscaping. The park also provides a shady resting place including restaurants, sanitary facilities, and parking for the general public.