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Reactivation of Myliddy Fishery Harbour in Northern Province under reconciliation initiative

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In the 1980s Myliddy Fisheries Harbour in Jaffna was one of the major fishery harbours in the country that contributed significantly to the fisheries sector. During the conflict, Myliddy fisheries harbour became non-functional and was under the custody of Defence Authority since 1990.

Myliddy is in Northern Province in Tellippali Divisional Secretariat Division in Valikamam area and described as a typical fishing village. Myliddy is in proximity to Jaffna Airport and Palali Military base, and is one of the popular and thriving fishing spots in the Peninsula. The official documents confirmed that the Myliddy harbour and 54 acres of land was handed over to the District Secretary, Jaffna in July 2017. 

Due to the conflict situation, the landing site, breakwaters, harbour basin including jetties, and the shore facilities including ice factory and fuel station are in a dilapidated condition. Prior to the conflict, the fishery harbour significantly contributed to the national fish production (1/3 of the national fish production) and provided livelihood for 1,500 families. 

Myliddy is the second most popular fishery harbour in Sri Lanka and served as a historic economic landmark in the Northern Province. It was decided to rehabilitate the fishery harbour on an urgent basis given its strategic economic importance as part of the reconciliation process, said Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation Secretary V. Sivagnanasothy. The public investment intervention included (a) rehabilitation of breakwaters; b) dredging of harbour basin including access channel (entrance channel); (c) Quay walls, jetties and navigation lights; (d) development of other shore facilities such as Auction Hall, Net Mending Hall, Community Hall and Market Hall; (e) rehabilitate fuel station with storage tank and (f) access road, utilities and related facilities.

Further investments have been identified in (a) fuel station; (b) establishment and operation of ice factory; (c) boat and engine repair workshop; (d) establishment of fish processing and canning centre and (e) fishing gear shop and other fishing related areas to put this harbour into full operation.

As a first step, it was decided by the Official Committee on Economic Management (OCEM) to undertake coastal engineering studies covering Bathymetric survey, Geotechnical investigation, numerical modelling, design of off shore facilities and development of harbour Master Plan and tender documents within a period of three months through Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development/Ceylon Fisheries Harbour Corporation as part of the reconciliation initiative of the Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation under the Guidance of the Northern and Eastern Provinces Development Committee. 

The cost of the study as directed by the Cabinet of Ministers will be funded by the Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation, said. Sivagnanasothy.

The fisheries harbour and infrastructure development will be undertaken by the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development following the Master Plan. Cabinet of Ministers granted approval for the same. The Government under the special Budget Proposal has allocated Rs. 150 million for the rehabilitation of Myliddy fishery harbour under the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development. A meeting in this regard was held by the Northern and Eastern Provinces Development Committee and OCEM with the Officers of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development, Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation, Ministry of Defence, District Secretary, Jaffna, Divisional Secretary, Tellippalai and other relevant officers and it was decided to float the tender by second week February 2018.

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