17th August 2009, www.news.lk
The first phase construction work of the Hambantota harbour is nearing completion with over 75% work successfully completed at present, Sri Lanka Ports Authority sources said.
The port project is scheduled to be completed by 2010, one year ahead of the scheduled time period. The project is expected to be completed in four phases and would take 15 years for the completion of the entire project.
After completion the harbor will facilitate 33 vessels to anchor at once and modern technology will be utilized to handle the operational work of the harbour.
A key aspect of the new economic cooperation between Sri Lanka and China was the agreement by China to fund the Hambantota Port Development and related development at a cost of US $ 450 million. There was an additional agreement to fund the new oil refinery costing US $ 1 billion.
Minister of Ports, Dilan Perera in an interview said that the Ministry of Ports has under taken five mega development projects including Colombo South Harbour Project, Oluvil, Galle and Kankesanturai harbour projects.
“Hambantota might be the second biggest city in Sri Lanka. It is an entirely new place which consists of a new port, airport, highways and a huge amount of commercial buildings,” Ports Minister said in an interview with the ‘dailynews’ paper.
Meanwhile the Minister noted that a comprehensive plan has been drawn up to develop the Galle harbor with a separate area dedicated for Yacht Marena. He said that the UNESCO Plan will also be taken into consideration when implementing the new changes to the Galle development project.
Speaking on the current development programs that are underway in the southern region Minister Perera said that work is being done in the aviation sector as well.
“The new airport in the Southern Province will be a reality very soon.”
The arrival and departure lounge in the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), Colombo has already been completed and a range of new features have been added to the airport. The entire BIA is looking much better than what it was. It has been able to cater to more aircraft now. When the second airport comes up in Weeravila, more airlines and tourists will come to Sri Lanka,” he said.
Minister Perera said that the amalgamation of sea cargo and air cargo could immensely benefit for the speedy development of the country.
Hambantota Port (Harbour) on Google Maps