Dhaka: Sri Lanka unveiled the Lotus Tower, claimed to be the tallest tower in South Asia, on September 16.
The 350-metre-tall 17-storey Lotus Tower is located in the heart of Colombo.
Spreading over an area of 30,600 square meters, the tower comprises a television tower, a hotel, a telecommunications museum, restaurants, auditorium, an observation deck, a shopping mall and a conference centre.
It was constructed at a cost of over USD100 million, 80 per cent of which was funded by China.
According to reports, Sri Lanka and China signed the Lotus Tower agreement in 2012 under the Chinese government’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to build the highest TV tower in South Asia, with China National Electronics Import and Export Corporation (CEIEC) being the general contractor.
President Maithripala Sirisena decided to open the structure to the public even though the tower is still under construction.
“We still have not completed this project, but we decided to go ahead and open sections of the tower that can be accessed by people,” said Sirisena during the unveiling ceremony.
The project which began in 2012 under the then-president Mahinda Rajapakse faced numerous delays amid funding issues.
The Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) said in a statement that the Lotus Tower is foreseen to be one of the significant landmarks and an epitome of the country’s economy, culture and development.
The tower, which is expected to function as Sri Lanka’s ‘digital TV tower’, is built with fiber optic cables and is fully equipped with necessary telecommunication equipment.