The lifeline of the Jaffna peninsula, the Kankesanthurai harbour, is clear of all shipwrecks, in record time.

The Indian Foreign Minister, S.M. Krishna, on Wednesday announced the completion of works at the KKS harbour. Now, dredging works will be taken up after which construction of break water will be done.

The removal is expected to facilitate trade-connectivity with the Jaffna peninsula and revive economic activity in Northern Province. Mr. Krishna assured that India was ready to provide further assistance for the next phase of the project, including dredging and the rehabilitation of the pier and port infrastructure.

Earlier, the Government of India, through the Shipping Corporation of India, had awarded a contract for removal and disposal of six wrecks at KKS harbour to Resolve Salvage and Fire (Asia) Pvt Ltd, Singapore at a total cost of US$ 19 million (SLRs 2.18 billion). Removal works began in April. And additional four wrecks were found and the process of getting additional sanction for removal was taken up only in October last year. And, these were removed too.

The KKS rehabilitation project includes six stages, namely, Preliminary Hydrographic Survey, Geotechnical investigations and preparation of Detailed Project Report, Wreck removal and disposal, Dredging, Rehabilitation of breakwater/pier and construction of new pier with attendant port facilities and Final Hydrographic Survey and preparation of Harbour Chart.

The dredging of the harbour will be undertaken by the Dredging Corporation of India (DCI). Rehabilitation of breakwater/pier and construction of new pier with attendant port facilities will be undertaken in accordance with the approved DPR, which is being prepared by RITES. Final Hydrographic Survey and preparation of Harbour Chart will be taken up as the final stage of work.

Cycles for IDPs

Mr. Krishna also handed over some cycles to IDPs at Jaffna. India plans to distribute 10,000 bicycles to the returning IDPs in the five districts of the Northern Province. He also referred to the rehabilitation of Atchchuvely Industrial Zone being undertaken by India to create employment opportunities and to provide a platform for industrial development of Jaffna, the renovation of Duraiyappah Stadium and constructing the Jaffna Cultural Centre.

He also expressed India’s willingness to assist the Government of Sri Lanka in developing Palaly as a civilian airport and enhancing regional connectivity, as part of India’s overall commitment to Sri Lanka’s reconstruction and development flowing the end of armed conflict.

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