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Galle Port Development Plans Unveiled with Focus on Tourism and Environmental Conservation

May 04, Colombo (LNW): The Ports, Shipping, and Aviation Ministry have revealed ambitious plans for the transformation of Galle Port into a hub for tourism, marking a significant step towards bolstering Sri Lanka’s maritime infrastructure and tourism sector.

The proposed development includes the construction of two backwaters spanning 850m and 150m respectively, alongside dredging the harbor basin to a depth of 12.05m. Additionally, a state-of-the-art passenger terminal is slated for construction, aimed at enhancing the port’s capacity to cater to the growing influx of tourists.

In a bid to address environmental and wildlife concerns arising from the project, a high-level meeting convened by Ports, Shipping, and Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva was held on Thursday. The gathering saw the participation of Wildlife, Forest Resources Conservation, and Irrigation Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi, as well as Health Minister Ramesh Pathirana.

During the meeting, Minister De Silva underscored the importance of expediting the project while ensuring robust measures to mitigate environmental impacts. Delays in the past, he noted, were attributed to inadequate strategies for addressing environmental and wildlife issues.

To fast-track the process, it was proposed that the Department of Wildlife submit an Environmental Impact Assessment Report within one week. Minister Wanniarachchi emphasized the urgency of this directive, urging officials to resolve all environmental concerns promptly.

Furthermore, Minister De Silva instructed the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) to solicit Requests of Interest from both local and foreign investors keen on contributing to the project’s development, contingent upon the Environmental Impact Assessment Report.

With an estimated investment of US$ 200 million allocated by the SLPA, the development initiative underscores the government’s commitment to fostering sustainable growth and enhancing the country’s maritime infrastructure.

The discussion, held at the auditorium of the Ports, Shipping, and Aviation Ministry, witnessed the active participation of key stakeholders including Ports, Shipping, and Aviation Ministry Secretary K.D.S. Ruwanchandra, Wildlife Ministry Secretary Gunadasa Samarasinghe, SLPA Vice Chairman Gayan Algewattege, Managing Director Prabath Malavige, and Additional Solicitor General Vikum de Abrew, reflecting a collaborative approach towards realizing the vision for Galle Port’s transformation.

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