Subject: LUSA: Development plans for Dili, Baucau unveiled

01-02-2006 18:38:00. Fonte LUSA. Notícia SIR-7698243


East Timor: Development plans for Dili, Baucau unveiled

Dili, Feb. 1 (Lusa) - Ambitious urban development plans for East Timor's two main cities involving the relocation of the country's international airport and main port are being presented this week in the world's newest nation.

A multidisciplinary team of Portuguese architects, engineers and agronomists, assisted by final-year Timorese students, has drawn up the development scheme to be implemented between 2015 and 2020.

The urban renewal and modernization plan for the Timorese capital, Dili, and the country's second city, Baucau, is coordinated by Lisbon's Technical University and being presented to the public and media Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.

Portugal's IPAD state development agency has funded the project.

Two development scenarios involving varying levels of investment have been drawn up and the first plan, envisaging the relocation of the country's main airport and commercial port, has been described as "daring" by the Portuguese team that drew it up.

Under this scheme the Nicolau Lobato airport in the capital will be replaced with a new facility in Baucau and the country's main port will be moved from the capital to Liqiça, about 40 kms west of Dili.

A cheaper alternative plan would involve Timor's principal airport remaining in Dili and being enlarged and modernized.

The capital's port would also continue to operate under this less ambitious scheme, although some of its freight handling capacity would be transferred to Baucau.

In both urban development options the replacing of existing ramshackle and unauthorized housing in the two cities would be a key priority.

Speaking at the presentation of the schemes, Timorese Public Works Minister Odete Victor said the development scenarios were "very important and it is now up to the government to seek the funds needed for their implementation".



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