Written by Staff Writer
17 Jan, 2020 | 10:36 pm
Colombo (News 1st): Plans are drawn up to develop the Galle port with the establishment of a “Yacht Marina Zone”.
Speaking to News 1st, State Minister of Port Development Affairs Kanaka Herath and Acting Director Technical Sri Lanka Ports Authority Susantha Abeysiriwardena spoke about the plans of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority to implement the development of the Galle Port.
After the construction of Galle Fort in the 17th century, Galle port was a major harbor in the Indian Ocean for more than 200 years, which was an important anchorage for boats and ships traveling between Europe and Asia.
When the British colonial government constructed breakwaters in Colombo Harbour in the late 19th century, much of the international marine traffic shifted to Colombo from Galle.
Thereafter, Galle Port became a secondary port of the country and neglected by successive governments, though it still handles some ships and boats.
The Sri Lanka Ports Authority has planned to develop the existing Port of Galle to accommodate the increasing demand for freight handling for Sri Lanka as well as an international regional destination.
Construction of a deep-water passenger vessel terminal and breakwaters, dredging of entrance channel and basin, and other facilities at the port of Galle to contribute to the economic development of the country are in the development plan which was floated for several years by many successive governments.
After the completion of the development, all passenger vessels can also be docked at the Galle outer port area.
State Minister of Ports Development Affairs Kanaka Herath noted:
“We are planning to develop the Galle port as a tourism port on the instructions of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. And what we are planning to do there is to have a yacht marina with all the facilities for tourism. Also, we are planning to develop the breakwater by which we can have cruise ships in Galle port. That’s our main plan for Galle tourism. For the past five years, there hasn’t been any development in Galle port. We are trying to implement this as soon as possible to gazette it within one month’s time before elections.”
The State Minister further said that the investment for the project is valued at USD 5 million. Additionally, permission was granted from UNESCO to the Port Authority in 2017, to implement the project, since Galle town is a heritage site.
Speaking to News 1st Acting Director Technical of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority Susantha Abeysiriwardena said:
“In the previous RSP we found some deficiencies and we hired a consultant and the comprehensive proposal is prepared. Based on this proposal, weekly we call RSP, and find an investor for operating the yacht marina. It is not a big investment but it attracts yachts to the port of Galle and indirect tourism attraction.”
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