Sri Lanka’s initiative to develop and conserve Madu river mangrove estuary in the southern coast of Sri Lanka and the country’s largest Negombo Lagoon with Netherlands assistance ran into troubled waters.
Although the project was to be completed under the funding received from the Netherlands, the Government of the Netherlands had refused to reimburse the Rs. 73 million which was spent on the project.
This was revealed in the latest report issued by the Parliamentary Committee on Public Accounts.
Hence, the aforementioned amount had been reimbursed with funds obtained from a loan from the ADB and expenditure heads of the Fisheries Ministry, COPA said.
Arrangements were made to transfer provisions and that the balance of Rs. 23.43 million has been settled accordingly.
he Committee directed the C.A.O./A.O OF the ministry to prepare a detailed report inclusive of all relevant details including whether the report is completed by now, if so, whether the project has achieved the expected performance and to submit the said report to the Committee.
the government has commenced a Rs. 1 billion project to develop the Negombo lagoon which is considered to be the most beautiful and largest lagoon of Sri Lanka.
The lagoon and its coastal environment has a long association with the fishery industry in the country and the fishermen have long requested the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development and previous governments to develop the lagoon since their livelihoods have been disturbed as the lagoon has been blocked by silt and waste.
The first phase of the Negombo Lagoon Development Project is to be completed at an estimated cost of Rs. 131 million.
The project to develop the lagoon consisting of an area of 3,000 hectares at an estimated cost of Rs. one billion will benefit 2,000 fisher families, business community and many others.
Under the first phase the woods in the bank of Kuda Ganga Dala will be removed and a strong embankment will be built. Jogging tracks and parking spaces for boats are also planned to be built.
Speaking at the event, the Minister said that a giant step in development will be taken with the cooperation of the international community. A number of development projects will be initiated in the years of 2016/2017 by the present government.
The Minister also mentioned that the European Union has lifted the ban on Sri Lanka fish exports which caused a loss of foreign exchange of Rs 16 billion. Soon Sri Lanka will receive a heavy amount of foreign income with the expected GSP+ concession from the EU.
Such achievements were made possible due to the faith placed on the present government by the international community, the Minister emphasized.