Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation, Nimal Siripala de Silva said the development of the Port of Galle was of national interest and not merely a project aimed at developing an institution, community, area or a region.
The Minister was speaking while on an inspection tour of the Port to see for himself the development process of the Port of Galle.
Addressing the media, he said the late Parliamentarian Richard Pathirana took great pains to develop the Port of Galle. The Minister said it was in the backdrop of continuously deviating from realising such efforts, he was committed to make it a reality.
“The development of the Port of Galle should go beyond a traditional approach and with a vision that combines modern business and technical know-how. Therefore, the staff and employees should be committed to such a cause and see the project with an understanding of a geo-political vision and new business trends,” he said.
The Minister also said the development of the Port of Galle that has a long stood history as a scenic tourist destination was aimed at developing it as a tourist port parallel to the policy decision of the Government. Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has a plan in place to implement and carry out the process. Accordingly, developmental plans of the port and surrounding areas will include a new breakwater in the port, entertainment zones, a novel plan for a new port city, a zone with extended facilities for yachts and passenger vessels and a sports area, to promote more foreign investment and entrepreneurial opportunities, the Minister said.
“Within the upcoming global futuristic trends the development of the Port of Galle should be realised in a collaborative manner. Three institutions are already on the list, with EOIs and once the selection process for eligibility is over, qualified institutions will be presented with necessary approvals to start investments,” the Minister said.
He said the upcoming developmental plans at the Port will not put Port employees at the risk of losing their jobs and that the project will add enhanced benefits to the people in the area and the country.