Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa yesterday inaugurated the wreck removal project in Kankesanthurai port to facilitate its modernisation under Indian assistance.
A Memorandum of Understanding to develop the Kankesanthurai port was signed recently between the Indian government and the Ports and Highways Ministry.
According to the this MOU the Indian government provides assistance to develop and remove wrecks at the Kankesanthurai port as a fruition of assistance extended to develop the Northern Province which was affected by a terrorist war for a long time. As the first phase of the project six ships which were sunk in Kankesanthurai port due to terrorist attacks are to be removed.
The KKS port was rendered useless after the LTTE repeatedly attacked it when the outfit controlled the surrounding areas. The port was key in connecting the Jaffna peninsula with the rest of Sri Lanka and regional destinations, particularly India. The main problem in re-building the port is the presence of six ship wrecks. The contract to remove the wrecks has already been awarded to a Singapore-based firm. The operation is expected to be completed before end of this year.
After removing the wreck the Kankesanthurai port will facilitate and upgrade marine transportation of essential consumer items and other products to the Northern Province.
Douglas Devananda, Minister of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development; Rohitha Abeygunawardena, Deputy Minister for Ports and Highways; Major General G. A. Chandrasiri, Governor of the Northern Province; Ashok K. Kantha, Indian High Commissioner; Dr. Priyath Bandhu Wickrema, Chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority, and representatives from Resolve Salvage and Fire Asia Private Limited and Prudential Shipping Lines Private Limited also participated at this occasion.