Nov 27, Colombo: Department of Coastal Conservation and Coastal Resource Management under the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing have identified 24 new tourist spots along the coast of the country in order to promote the tourism industry.
River Wadiya, Puttalam Lagoon Islands, Kudawa, Waikkala, Negombo Lagoon, Kapungoda, Preethipura, Kokgala Lagoon, Seethagalle, Rakava Lagoon, Lunama Lagoon, Malala Lewaya, Kirinda, Kunukale Beach, Elephant Rock, Salathiv Island, Tambalagamuwa Bay, Governor Office, Uppuveli, Sampalthivu Beach, Aryamalla Beach, Nayaru Beach, Nandikadal Beach, Santhakulam Beach are the tourist spots identified by the Department.
The Minister of Urban Development and Housing Mr. Prasanna Ranatunga instructed the officials jointly with the Ministry of Tourism and other government agencies to prepare an urgent program to inform local and foreign tourists about the places.
The Minister further pointed out that by properly developing the coastline around the country while protecting the coastal environment, Sri Lanka can find solutions to the economic crises that it is facing.
Minister Prasanna Ranatunga explained these plans while joining a discussion held yesterday (26) with the officials regarding the debate on the budget head of the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing.
According to the natural location of the coast of this country, there is a possibility to carry out renewable energy projects such as wind power projects, solar power generation parks, etc.
Therefore, the Minister instructed the officials to look into the possibility of carrying out other development projects along the coasts as well further promoting the tourism industry along the coasts of the country.
He also pointed out that urgent projects should be prepared by integrating the public sector as well as the private sector for such projects.
The 1620 km long coastline of the country is rich in economic resources, is. Therefore, the Minister pointed out that they should urgently focus on safe and sustainable development based on coastal resources while preserving the coastline.
Steps have also been taken to declare areas of ecological importance as protected areas with the aim of preserving and bequeathing the coastal zone and its related resources to future generations.
Accordingly, steps have already been taken to gazette the Panama Sand Dunes in the Eastern Region and Sandikadu Sand Dunes in Puttalam as protected areas.
Also, before the end of this year, steps will be taken in conjunction with the Forestry Department to conserve the area around the Ulla Valley dunes on the Arugam Bay coast as a special affected area, the Minister said.
Also, from January 2020 to December 2021, 24 coastal conservation projects and 43 emergency coastal conservation projects have been implemented. These coastal protection projects have made it possible to protect 10.7 km of coastline.
Also, 11 coastal protection projects and 12 other programs have been planned to prevent coastal erosion this year. Out of these, 5 projects have been completed and another 18 projects are currently underway.
Even now, coastal conservation projects are already underway in Thalaimannar, Thoduwa, Pitipana, Moratuwa, Kalido, Ambalangoda, Mirissa, Nindavur and Thirukkovil areas.
In addition, around 10 emergency coastal conservation projects have been completed in Iranavila, Nindavur, Beruwala, Payagala, Kanthankudi and Sampur.