30 March 2013

Sri Lanka to Make Centuries Old Dutch Canal a Tourist Attraction. 14km Section from Negombo Lagoon to Kelani Ganga Estuary Now Being Developed

19th February 2013, www.news360.lk

Sri Lanka has commenced work towards developing the remaining 14km section of the centuries old Dutch Canal, which will be transformed into a tourist attraction.

Accordingly, the 14km section of the Canal running from Negombo Lagoon to Kelani Ganga Estuary is now being developed by the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation for rehabilitation.

The institution is already nearing completion of rehabilitating the 8.7km section of the Canal from Ma-Oya to Negombo Lagoon.

The total cost of the project runs up to Rs. 600 million.

“The canal and its vicinity is of much environmental importance since the area is home to different species of fish, birds and plants and rich in bio-diversity, making it ideal for Eco-tourism”, stated a media release issued by the Ministry of Economic Development.

It says, under the development program, embankments will be built to protect the canal banks, while either side of the waterway too will be beautified.

The canal will be de-silted and steps will also be taken to prevent pollution.

The facilities for the fisherman living along the canal will be enhanced through the establishment of fish sales stalls and also new Jetties for boats.

The work to complete the remaining work commenced during the weekend with the participation of Minsiter of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa.

Hamilton Canal which has been built during the 15th century by King Vira Parakramabahu VIII, to transport cinnamon and other commodities, has later evolved with the intervention of the Dutch and the British rulers, who ruled the Island.

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