Oct 05, Colombo: The government plans to develop economy and infrastructure facilities of Ratnapura, the country's gem-mining center of Sri Lanka.
The government has decided to establish a separate street for the gem business in the famous gem city to provide modern facilities for the gem merchants, the customers, local and foreign visitors.
Under the initiative, infrastructure such as roads and parking space are to be also developed. Government has also taken steps to improve the National Gem Museum located in Ratnapura.
These plans were revealed during the Ratnapura District Committee Meeting held today under the patronage of the President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Addressing the meeting, the President instructed the Police and the National Gems and Jewellery Authority to provide speedy solutions to the problems faced by the small scale Gem Industrialists in the District. The President has also instructed to implement a humanitarian programme to safeguard their professional activities.
Tourism will be developed in the city and the foreign visitors arriving in the country are to enlighten to the facilities available in Ratnapura through a special pamphlet.
The President further has said that the land handed over to the private sector for cultivation purposes should be re-acquired by the government if the private sector fails to properly cultivate those lands.
The government has spent over 13 billion rupees last year for the development programs in the District.
(Photos by Sudath Silva)