Making ‘Mahinda Chinthana’ development policy of the present Government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa a reality, to build Sri Lanka the Regional Maritime Hub with the advantage of its unique geographical location, Sri Lanka Ports Authority led by its Chairman Dr. Priyath B. Wickrama, under the instructions by Minister of Port and Highways (Project) Rohitha Abegunawardhane, has taken all key measures in time to develop the ports around the country. Accordingly, development drive of the Kankasanthurai (KKS) Harbour commenced in parallel to the ‘Uthuru Wasanthaya’ program.
Much recently, the High Commissioner of India Ashok K. Kantha, participated in a brief ceremony at the KKS Harbour to mark the completion of the dredging operations of its Access Channel, the Harbour Basin and the Access Channel for the proposed berth. The ‘Joint Post Dredging Survey’ chart was formally handed over by the High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Managing Director Capt. Nihal Keppetipola. The dredging work at the KKS Harbour has been undertaken by the Dredging Corporation of India (DCI), a public sector undertaking of the Government of India. Consul General of India V. Mahalingam, DCI Manager Operations Nielkhawsiem and senior officials of the Navy were also present at the event. With the completion of dredging operation, four phases of the project supported through grant assistance from the Government of India of US$ 25 million had been completed satisfactorily. This had paved the way for commencement of rest of the work by SLPA, under a concessional line of credit from the Government of India. The rehabilitation of the harbour would go a long way in development of economic infrastructure in the Northern Province, support domestic as well as regional commerce and connectivity, as well as pave the way for exploitation of the KKS Harbour as a commercial port. The KKS Harbour rehabilitation project is a complex and wide-ranging project, with multiple phases involving preliminary hydro-graphic survey in Phase I, geo-technical investigations and preparation of detailed project report in Phase II, wreck removal and disposal in Phase III, dredging in Phase IV, rehabilitation of breakwater/pier and construction of new pier with attendant Port facilities in Phase V and final hydro-graphic survey and preparation of Harbour chart in Phase VI. Phase V and Phase VI would be executed through a concessional line of credit provided by the Government of India to the Government of Sri Lanka.
The project scope of the KKS Port development would mainly focus of the transportation of essential products and produce between Southern and Northern Regions expecting to feed the ongoing developmental activities in the region whilst enhancing a greater co-operation between the neighbouring countries. It will also enable the boost of business activities and will greatly contribute towards the regional socio-economic development as well. The project is implemented by SLPA, the executing authority with an estimated cost of US$ 44.7 million obtained under a state loan facility.