21st January 2012, www.dailynews.lk, Shirajiv Sirimane
The Palali Airport will be upgraded as an international airport for Indian traffic and regional passengers, said Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Minister Douglas Devananda.
Speaking to the Daily News after inaugurating the third edition of the Jaffna Trade Fair yesterday, the minister said that the Indian government is assisting this project and work is in progress.
The minister said that an additional Rs one billion will be allocated by the government for infrastructure development in the Northern Province this year.
Devananda said that the on going exhibition organized by the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry with Lanka Exhibition and Conference Services (LECS), which concludes tomorrow, has helped Northern entrepreneurs to find Southern partners and also acquire new technology.
“The Indian government will continue to assist the North and East reconstruction process and will also find an Indian partner to review the Elephant Pass saltern in the area which has not been operating for the past 20 years,” said Consul General of India in Jaffna, V Mahalingam.
“They will also help with infrastructure development of the Palali Airport elevating it to an international airport and also develop the Kankesanthurai Harbour at a cost of US 20 million,” Mahalingam said. He said that the Indian government is helping in the infrastructure development of the Achuveli Industrial Zone which is expected to be ready by April.
Mahalingam said that the 50, 000 housing project which is provided by India is the single biggest investment by the Indian government to any country with an investment of US $ 270 million.He also told the Daily News that they issue around 50 to 75 visas per day to travel to India for both leisure and business.A record 304 stalls with 40 Indian companies are showcasing their products this year. The organizers have also invested Rs 2.5 million to provide a sprinkler system, fence and lighting system for the Duraiappah Stadium as part of their CRS towards Jaffna, LECS director Imran Hassan said. Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited is the media sponsor of the event.
Related Info :
• Jaffna International Trade Fair 2012 from 20 to 22 January at Alfred Durayappah Stadium. Over 200 Companies to Take Part in JITF
• Airports Authority of India to Build an Airport in Palaly, Jaffna, Sri Lanka