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Magampura Port to exploit Lanka's locational advantage

Continued from last week

The ships which arrive from Middle East and Africa and sail from Asia and Oceania need to have an interim point to get their facilities and Hambantota is the most suitable place for the purpose.

The Magampura Port can perform a prominent role as a fuel and crew changing centre as well as for receiving water, drugs, foods and fruits.

It is an international requirement and a mechanism of generating foreign exchange to the country as well.

Hambantota can be utilized in facility as a cargo exchange centre for the trade between west and east of Indian sub continent.

The reputation of Hongkong, Singapore, Dubai Ports will be attracted by Hambantota Port when Sri Lanka would become a hub centre in the international trade network gathered around India and China.

It has been intended to grant 2000 hectares Government land to industrialists all over the world with tax holidays and land owned by the Government with rent favours.

Foreign investors are able to utilize the Hambantota Port in a warless peaceful environment as they wish.

Inland facts

The major Local factor for construction Hambantota Port is the Panchabala Kendra concept of Mahinda Chinthana. Hambantota becomes the ideal area to construct a Port and to plan a modern city under this concept.

People of several districts will benefit after the construction of this Port in a more difficult and poverty stricken area. Some benefits are as follows:

5000 to 6000 direct employment opportunity for the youths

25000 to 50000 indirect employment opportunities for permanent residents in the area.


Construction work on the Magampura port continues at a rapid pace

Creation of an international market for vegetables and fruits for the farmers in the area.

Opportunities for skilled workers to join as International Seafarers on-board vessels.

Creating and receiving new business opportunities

Utilizing as an industrial harbour for the development requirements.

The possibility of regional development and the focus on economic development in the country by generating foreign exchange are among the local factors.

Having an appropriate deep sea, free of tidal waves and the dry climatic conditions are also favourable attributes.

The land where the Magampura Port is constructed can be identified as the most suitable land for a new Port. This can be identified as a combined project of the on-going combined development projects in poverty stricken zones such as Matara, Hambantota, Moneragala. Mega factories, highways, international grounds, international Airport, International Conference Halls, Rail roads and water supply schemes have already been implemented under this project.

The background for the H'tota Port

At a time of dreaming of Magampura Harbour, signing of the agreement with Chinese President Hu Jintao, and President Mahinda Rajapakse, during his visit to China commemorating the Golden Jubilee of bilateral relationship between China and Sri Lanka made the path to become the dream a reality.

As a result, 85 percent out of the US $360 million investment to construct the Magampura Port was granted as a special patronage of the Chinese Government.

The relevant project reports were reviewed by the Cabinet appointed special discussion Committee and submitted to the Cabinet for approval to construct the Magampura Harbour was given to China. It was approved by the Cabinet.

The agreement for the construction of the "Magampura" Harbour was signed between the Sri Lanka Ports Authority and the China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd., and Syno Hydro Co-operation Ltd Group Company Board on March 12, 2007.

Combined development plan

With the idea of the Magampura Port coming into effect we can see that it has been developed alongside the Hambantota Combined Development Plan.

The thoughts of the people about Hambantota were arid and harsh. Now their minds are being transformed as a developing land zone. The pioneer of this change is the Port. Attention was paid regarding the necessary infrastructure when the basic plans were prepared for the construction of Magampura Port. This was developed as the Combined Development Plan and under the guidance of His Excellency the President and the following major projects are being implemented.

* International Port of Magampura

* Hambantota International Cricket Ground

* Hambantota International Conference Hall

* Ranmihithenna Tele Cinema village

* Dry Zone Botanical Gardens

* Railway services to Kataragama

* Mattala International Airport

* Highway system

* Administrative Complex

The Hambantota New Town Plan is also combined to the above. Additionally development of projects and schools, houses, towns, water, electricity are being implemented and arrangements are under way for a Free Trade Zone in Hambantota too.

All government institutions and offices including Sri Lanka Ports Authority are dedicating their services for this purpose.

Environmental balance of Magampura Port as an artificial harbour

As the Magampura Port was developed as an environmentally friendly Port from the initial stages, there have not been any environmental issues which many development projects have to undergo.

The Garden Port concept which many countries follow is utilized to join the complex mechanism process and the environment, and it creates a good mental status for an employee.

Comparing the environmental condition of Hambantota, there are several factors which led to the environment friendly nature of the Magampura Port such as:

* Previous experience gained from large scale projects

* Geographical diversity of Hambantota

* The weather and climatic conditions in Hambantota

A land around the port which is 15 kilometres in extent is scheduled to be maintained with appropriate plants as a green belt.

It is noted that the designs of Magampura Port have been prepared in accordance with Sri Lanka Environmental Act. Recycling of water and garbage used in the Port was in the basic plan of the Magampura. Wind and hot sunrays are the common climatic feature of Hambantota. The plan is to utilize them as a source of energy in the future activities of the Port.

Port basin for the second stage would be constructed with a depth of 17 metres Ship turning circle of 600 metres and the existing access road will be deepened up to 18 metres, a Quay wall of 2,140 metres with six berths will be constructed.

The second stage of Magampura Port

Agreements have been signed for the second stage of the Magampura Port. Accordingly, ship turning basin has to be extended upto the depth of 17 metres and 600 metres the circle access channel road is deepened upto 18 metres and the terminal dam consisting of six berths would be constructed.

Parallel to this it is expected to create an island near the coast with an extent of 50 acres using the soil removed after the excavation of the Port.

The Karagam levaya and surroundings of 2000 hectares in extent where 450 families resided were acquired for the new Port Project of Magampura.

Compensation and land were granted for land owners and all the infrastructure too for those lands were provided.

A new road was constructed instead of the old road and all the obstacles for a suitable location for a port have been removed by now. The public of the area have been made aware of the all sectors of the project. The series of seminars conducted in schools in the area were helpful to inculcate positive expectations over the developments in the benefits of people in Hambantota area.

The filling of sea water for the Magampura Port of Hambantota which commenced from August 15 has been almost completed.

Attention of the local and foreign investors has been drawn to the Magampura Port as an attractive investment centre just after the Magampura port is full of water. Accordingly the project committee appointed for the consideration of the request of the investors who are interested for the investments in Magampura port premises issued 63 applications locally and internationally and 27 investors have submitted their proposals for the investments.

Feasibility studies are being done by the project committee for 27 applicants who submitted applications. Six cement factories, two factories of warehouse packing, a sugar factory, a fertilizer factory and a can packing factory and some other identified fields who have agreed to start factories. These proposed factories will commence in the 2000 hectares which has been reserved for the Hambantota Port project by now. With all these development activities it is to be expected that Hambantota will become the second capital in Sri Lanka.

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