Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka hands over the Trincomalee District Master Plan to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan, Eastern Province Governor Rohitha Bogollagama and Megapolis and Western Development Ministry Secretary Eng. Nihal Rupasinghe are also present - Pic by Ruwan Walpola
By Skandha Gunasekara
The proposed Trincomalee Master Plan project includes a third international airport for Sri Lanka as well as an international cricket stadium.
The Master Plan envisions a massive development drive for the Trincomalee District and adjacent regions to make it the Eastern Gateway of Sri Lanka.
The Master Plan project proposal was handed over to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday by Singaporean Consultancy group Surbana Jurong at Temple Trees.
Addressing the event, the Prime Minister said that the vision to develop Sri Lanka into a commercial and tourism hub in the Indian Ocean would be completed with the inclusion of this Master Plan.
“When you look back at Sri Lanka’s history, we were a hub in the Indian Ocean where there were several ports. Today, we have focused on Colombo and Hambantota. Colombo is important with the development of the West, East Africa, Western India and the development of Iran, while ships which pass through the Suez Canal to countries such as Singapore go past Hambantota, making the Southern Port also important. Countries in the Bay of Bengal region will fast develop within the next 20 years. By 2050 the population in this region is expected to reach 3 billion. Therefore, we have to consider Trincomalee as the Eastern Gateway,” he said, adding that Jaffna and the Northern Province were next in line to see major development plans.
Accordingly, Trincomalee would be an export hub by creating a clean industrial ecosystem,which can add value to the already abundant agriculture, aquaculture, minerals and resources in its hinterland.
Trincomalee would also be repositioned as the Eastern Tourism Hub, by increasing regional connectivity through the development of the Colombo-Trincomalee economic corridor and the establishment of an international airport in Hingurakgoda.
The region will also be an Eastern Logistics centre through the economic opportunities gained as a result of the many Free Trade Agreements Sri Lanka has entered into with South and South East Asian nations, as well from maritime traffic in the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean.
Megapolis and Western Development MinisterPatali Champika Ranawaka, who also spoke at the event, said that special attention would be paid to environmental protection and natural resource preservation.
“11% of the plan consists of urban development while 89% of it would deal with wildlife, water and irrigation and environmental conservation,” the Minister said.
The Master Plan lays out that the first step would be the setting up of a special planning and development authority, which will be called the Master Plan Implementation Unit.
“This would be later upgraded to Trincomalee Metropolitan Planning and Development Authority. The Plan would see the development of an international airport in Hingurakgoda, a new City Centre, multi-story parking centres, a theme/amusement park, an international cricket stadium, several highways, specialized highways such as dedicated freight highways, a cruise terminal, container terminal at China Bay, an oil refinery and an LNG power plant,”Surbana Jurong Managing DirectorPhilip Tan elaborated.
The entire Trincomalee project is to be completed by 2050.