Sunday, January 18, 2009

Yacht Marina Zone Construction begins at Galle Harbour, targets tourists

Galle Port to be developed as a tourist spot enabling cruises and yachts

Identified for development as the first tourist port in Sri Lanka, construction work on the Yacht Marina Zone at the Galle Harbour commenced on January 15. The Galle Port is the only Sri Lankan harbour that provides facilities for pleasure enjoyment and the International Yacht Society has recognised the port as one of the world’s best suited for the cruise and yacht seasons, which prevail from October to March during the non-monsoon period.

Construction of the Yacht Marina Zone consists of two phases. Phase One consists of development of basic facilities for the yacht marina with berthing facilities for 50 yachts of 15m long and 3m draft. Total expenditure for Phase One of the project has been estimated to be approximately Rs.125 million and is expected to be completed within six months. The project will utilize the maximum usage of local engineering expertise as well as the existing high standard port recourses.

Phase Two of the project will include the extension of the yacht marina to accommodate 30 more yachts and development of facilities for cruise ships with berthing requirements for 300m long and 9m draft hulls.

Expressing their views, the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Chairman Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrama stated that under the new management policies implemented by the SLPA, regional ports such as the Galle Port will be developed enabling them to develop independently. This would result in harbours expanding and progressing rapidly without being dependent and being a burden to the development projects of the Colombo Port. He added that the development of the Galle Port will immensely benefit the elevation of tourism in the historical city of Galle and in return it will benefit not only Galle but also the total local economic development of Sri Lanka.

All these constructions at the Galle Port are being carried out under the fullest supervision of the Executive Director of the SLPA Dr. Sanjaya Sedara Senarath. These projects have been implemented on the advice of President Rajapaksa and under the guidance of the Ports, Aviation, Irrigation and Water Management Minster Chamal Rajapaksa.

Vocational Training Minister Piyasena Gamage, Social Services and Social Welfare Minister Lional Premasiri, the Mayor of Galle Mr. Methsiri De Silva, Managing Director of SLPA Capt. Nihal Keppetipola, Executive Director Dr. Sanjaya Sedara Senarath, Director Mr. Prasanna Kalutharage, Officers of the SLPA, representatives of the Port Trade Unions and a number of staff members and employees of the Galle Port participated at the occasion.

(Courtesy: Daily Mirror)