Nov 14, Colombo: The newly constructed Hambanthota Harbour, which lies within 10 nautical miles from a major Indian Ocean shipping route, will be a significant port for the East-West shipping trade, a government minister has pointed out.
Ports and Aviation Deputy Minister Dayasritha Tissera has told the state-run radio, Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) that three ships will berth into the port known as Magampura Harbour on November 18th.
According to the Deputy Minister, the government has set in motion a plan to earn 40 percent of government's income from the Hambantota Port in 10 years.
The Hambantota Harbour project in addition will create direct and indirect employment opportunities for 25,000 people, Tissera has told the SLBC.
With the commissioning of the port, the government plans to attract more investors into the area. Under this plan, a surrounding area of 2,000 hectares will be developed as an investment and industrial zone and in parallel the roads network in Hambantota area will also be upgraded. Already 65 investors have expressed interest, the Minister has said.
Along with the Hambanthota Port, the government has taken measures to develop other major ports in the country as well. Ports in Galle, Oluvil, Trincomalee, and Kankasanthurai are now being expanded, the Minister has revealed.
In addition, the government has embarked on an ambitious plan to expand the Colombo Harbor. The government expects to triple the operations at Colombo port by 2012.
The Colombo Port Expansion Project allows Sri Lanka to meet increasing demands of services in the international shipping industry in the Indian Ocean.