Altair suspects foul play behind its building fire

The developers of Altair have informed the Slave Island Police that while initially it was suspected that a technical fault with an indoor fan coil unit or an Air conditioning system caused the fire, it was now suspected that there was sabotage.

A technical team from the coil brand had visited the site and conducted their own investigations into the incident.

However, the Altair developers have told the Police that an internal investigation revealed there was no technical fault and that instead there was foul play.

Accordingly, the Police, including Scene of Crime Office (SOCO) officers visited the site on 26th September and commenced investigations.

The developer has also accused an architect of spreading misinformation over the fire and in the process also violating the confidentiality terms agreed upon.

The minor fire had been controlled and extinguished by the fire control and extinguishing system installed in the building.

Chief Fire Officer at the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), P.D.K.A. Wilson said  last week that the fire department had not been informed of the fire and that they got to know through images circulated on WhatsApp.

They had later visited the site and cautioned the management for not alerting the authorities about the fire despite it being successfully controlled by the system installed in the building.

Altair is a 240-meter skyscraper with 68 floors and more that 400 condos. The first phase of the 230 meter high and 68 storey Altair Multi-storey Mixed Housing Project was opened  in March this year.

The project, which is being implemented to encourage foreign investment, was scheduled to be completed in 2017.

 However, work on the project was halted during the previous government and due to the intervention of President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, work resumed soon and the first phase will be reopened, Urban Development Ministry Secretary Sirinimal Perera said. 

The project, which was halted on the way, came to the attention of the President in May 2020 and a committee was appointed under the Ministry Secretary Sirinimal Perera to look into the matter. 

The project was completed within a year after resolving the shortcomings and investor issues which had been delayed for five years. 

As the Minister of Urban Development and Housing, the Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa instructed to expedite the construction work and provide the houses to the homeowners who have invested money. 

The project will open the residential and commercial shopping complex for residential and commercial purposes, with all the amenities built in front of the Gangarama Boundary in an artistic manner, changing the existing traditions in the field of construction in the country. 

The opening of this residential and commercial shopping complex, known as the Altair Building, is expected to bring about growth and upliftment in the local economy and society. 

Under this, Sri Lanka has created a space for a more innovative creative investment model with a more confident and standardized environment and assures investors around the world that they can reap the maximum benefits from the money invested.

The Ministry of Urban Development and Housing stated that a large percentage of the local job demand can be met and a large number of new direct and indirect jobs will be created under it. 

This Altair Building has been constructed on an area of 02 acres near the Colombo Gangarama Boundary of Beira Lake which belongs to the Urban Development Authority. The investment for the Altair building is US $ 250 million. The investor is Indodis Development.

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