Southern Development, not an overnight task
Media Minister and Government Media Spokesman Lakshman Yapa
Developing Southern Province has no connections with the on-going
elections or future elections. In simple language, the Government is in
the process of implementing the aspirations and objectives embodied in
the Mahinda Chintana policies. As the polices streamline the Government
was able to finalise diversified projects namely road network,
irrigation, vocational training, providing electricity for rural
community and various other community-based projects in addition to
major projects planned, said Ports, Aviation and Irrigation Minister
Ports, Aviation and Irrigation Minister Chamal Rajapaksa
The Southern Development activities did not commence overnight. The
difficult task of providing infrastructure facilities, constructing new
roads and renovating the existing roads, building new tanks and
renovating the existing tanks and various other community-based
development ventures commenced from the very first date of ‘Mahinda
Chintana’ policies were launched, said Media Minister and Government
Media Spokesman, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena.
H’tota land prices up in view of development
In order to provide solutions to the water problems, the Irrigation
Minister focused his attention to construct and rehabilitate the
dilapidated tanks. Veheregala tank was a massive project and the work
had been completed within a very short period. The construction work in
various other irrigation projects such as Rambukkan Oya, Moragahakanda,
are in progress. Apart from developing other sectors such as industries,
fisheries, the Government is forging ahead towards an era of hydraulic
civilization existed during the period of our ancient kings, Irrigation
Department Director General H. P. S. Somasiri said.
Today the gloomy picture of Hambantota has faded away. Dilapidated
roads with potholes have been converted to widened and carpeted roads.
The roads are constructed to suit the requirements of the years to come,
a District Secretariat official said.
Hambantota Port construction work in progress
In view of the large on-coming projects such as the international
harbour, and airport, oil refinery project in Mirijjawila, salt project,
Siribopura mega housing scheme, BoI projects at Kasagala, international
sports complex, huge irrigation projects and various other projects, the
people in the District look enthused and invigorated.
The value of the lands has also been remarkably increased. A peasant
residing by the side of the Colombo-Kataragama road in Hambantota said
he was offered only Rs. 1000/- per perch when he wanted to sell his land
and leave the district in search of an employment sometime ago. But
fortunately due to the objections raised by the wife he did not go ahead
with the transaction. Today the price has risen to 100%. He said: “Now I
have no intention to sell my 22 perch land at any cost and I am planning
to commence an eating house.” Most of the outsiders are trying to
encroach State lands preparing bogus deeds through unscrupulous elements
and the government land authorities should take a note of this fact, he
Hambantota District is agriculture-based and most of the farmers are
The District is frequently subjected to lengthy droughts and due to
the lack of water the farmers deal with chena cultivation which is
insufficient to meet both ends. Water was the biggest problem they faced
but less attention was drawn by the successive governments to provide
them with water.
Realising the problem faced by the poor farmer, Port, Aviation and
Irrigation Minister Chamal Rajapaksa has taken immediate steps not only
to rehabilitate the existing tanks but also to construct new tanks.
Construction of new tank is not an easy task and it requires special
acquaintance with the expertise principles of reservoir construction.
Agriculture production is important for food security because it is a
source of income for the majority of the rural poor. And also
agriculture is a vital development tool for achieving the government’s
perspective that calls halving the poverty alleviation in the district
within the next two years. It is also a strong option for spurring
growth, overcoming poverty and enhancing food security. Agriculture and
irrigation both entwined together. Although necessary resources are
available in the Hambantota District to develop agriculture due to the
lack of water the farmers are taken aback and discouraged, he further
Second largest new tank to wet south this year
The Kakiriobada reservoir will be commissioned by the end of this
year fulfilling a long felt need of farmers and cultivators in Belliatte
and Tangalle. The construction of the reservoir is now rapidly
Construction work in progress
Kakiriobada reservoir is the second largest newly constructed tank in
the south and Veheragala was the first.
The reservoir will definitely be a boon to the farmers in the
Southern Province as it will enable them to cultivate both seasons (Yala
and Maha). Farmers are unable to cultivate their lands in the Yala
season as they do not have enough water for irrigation and they have to
depend solely on rain water. Therefore the farmers can cultivate only in
“The main purpose of constructing a reservoir is to supply water for
cultivation in Beliatte and Tangalle areas where people are badly
affected by the scarcity of water. In addition a mechanism has to be
established to supply water for the Kirama Oya project. Kirama Oya
project which has nineteen anicuts was constructed several years ago.
However Kirama Oya runs dry frequently due to deficiency of water.
Therefore Kekiriobada will supply water to these 19 anicuts enabling
farmers to engage in their farming activities without any obstacle
throughout the year” Engineering Assistant of Kakiriobada reservoir
project Niranjala Shiromani Ranaweera said.
The dam of the tank. Pictures by Indrajith Perera
The 100 feet high dam of Kakiriobada project will hold 2.7 million
cubic meters of water which is more than sufficient for supplying water
for cultivation during the whole year while supplying water for the
Kirama Oya project.
Kekiriobada reservoir is being constructed by damming Kakirioya river
at Kakiriobada area. The project which commenced in 2006 is scheduled to
be commissioned by the end of this year. After completion, the reservoir
will provide water to 5,535 acres of paddy lands while supplying water
for various other activities of thousands of people. Apart from the
beneficiary families of Kirama Oya project, around 3,500 farming
families are directly benefitted by this project. The Government has
taken steps to resettle 54 families displaced by the reservoir in
Sooriyawewa area. According to the Irrigation Department sources these
families have been resettled in modern houses with of all facilities.
”We are happy to mention, that the entire construction work of the
project is handled by local experts” Ranaweera added.
The project is jointly funded by the Sri Lankan Government and the
Government of Japan. Of Rs. 718 million of the total cost of the project
Rs. 273 million is provided by the Sri Lankan Government while the
balance Rs. 445 million is provided by the Japanese Government.
Untapped resources in South developed
Most untapped resources in the South had been identified during this
regime and had taken steps to develop them. Today the community is
accuring the benefits of those. However it is learnt that there are more
untapped resources scattered in the South. Plans are afoot to develop
them in the very near future, said Port and Civil Aviation Minister
About fifteen years ago I was a MP of the then opposition and as such
I had enough time to travel round the district and see for myself the
places in the district which are of great importance for the economy, he
The Minister said so addressing the meeting that followed the laying
of foundation stones for the LAUGHS salt and Chemical Industries at
Chitragala lagoon in Hambantota.
Continuing the Minister said most of the resources in the district
still remains untapped. It was the bounden duty of investors and would
be investors to tap these resources for the benefit of the district and
Various industrial ventures can be set up utilising these resources
and provide jobs to the jobless youths in the district if these
resources are tapped.
There was a sea port at Godawaya in ancient days.
People from China had come to the Hambantota district through this
see port and engaged themselves in trade activities.
This has been proved with recent excavations carried out by the
The entire construction work of the Hambantota sea port will come to
a climax in 2017. It will be five fold bigger than the Colombo harbour.
Maththala Air Port construction is now in full serving. An
International Playground and stadium is being set up at Meegaha Jandura.
A convention hall similar to that of BMICH in Colombo is being set up
at Siribopura, Hambantota.
Several star hotels will be set up to cater to the arrival of
tourists from various destinations the Minister concluded.
LAUGFS Holdings Ltd Chairman W. K. H. Wegapitiya said salt will be
produced at the initial stage and chemicals, like chlorine and caustic
soda will be produced at the saltern later to save a colossal sum of
foreign exchange drained to foreign countries for such products.
General Manager Wasantha Ranasinghe, Hambantota DS Ganesh Amarasinghe,
LAUGFS Holdings Ltd Managing Director Thilak De Silva were present at
SDA development objectives fulfilled
Galle Fisheries Harbour after renovation
The Wide scope of responsibilities assigned to the Southern
Development Authority includes national development, alleviation of
poverty, and keeping up the life standard of the public. During past 4
years this objectives of the SDA has been successfully completed and a
number of on-going projects on the card, Southern Development Authority
Chairman Ranjit Gunasekera told Daily News.
Habaraduwa housing scheme for Government servants
Detailing the mission vision of the SDA, Gunasekera said that the Sri
Lanka Southern Development Authority was established under Sri Lanka
Southern Development Authority Act No. 18 of 1996 with the objective of
increasing the production in the Southern region ensuring economic and
social awakening and maximize the regions' contribution to the GNP.
Newly opened ‘pola’ in Matara
The area of authority of this organization covers districts of Matara,
Galle and Hambantota in the Southern Province, District of Monaragala
and Divisional Secretary's Division of Kolonna and Embilipitiya in
Ratnapura district. The head quarters is situated in Matara while
district offices are maintained in the relevant districts.
During the past 12 years of existence, the Sri Lanka Southern
Development Authority has implemented its development activities in
using various approaches. Several projects pertaining to medium scale
industries, small scale infrastructure development and employment
generation encouraging private sector investments have been implemented
in the project area. Action was initiated in 2007 implement Jathika
Saviya Gama Neguma Program in the selected Grama Niladhari Division in
the region. Accordingly, 47 Wasams in the districts of Matara, Galle and
Hambantota were selected for the implementation of several development
projects on priority basis which includes 20 km of roads, 581 houses for
low income groups, 352 sanitary programs and 45 model home gardens.
Newly built Galle water supply project
Further, 567 youths were trained in the fields of heavy vehicle
driving, three wheeler driving, nursing, hotel industry and sewing.
Fifty percent of them are gainfully employed.
Pradeshiya Sabha Secretariat building in Gonapeenuwela
In extending the Gama Neguma Program, the Authority has selected
additional 100 Wasams for development. The Sri Lanka Southern
Development Authority was entrusted with the overall development of
these selected Wasams to set an example to the other agencies who are
involved in Gama Neguma Program.
With special emphasis on this objective, the Authority directed more
attention to the livelihood and spiritual development over and above the
construction and rehabilitation of infrastructure activities in 2008.
All activities in selected Wasams have now been planned and work
initiated although there was a delay due to constraints in selecting
Progress with regard to the Gama Neguma Activities
It is expected that all activities implemented in Wasam by line
Ministries, Provincial Council and Local Government Agencies, and NGOs
are properly and duly co-ordinated under Gama Neguma Program. On this
basis, apart from the projects that are implemented under Authority's
provision, the Authority has always endeavoured to refer the programs
which can be implemented by the other line Ministries or private sector
in order to obtain their financial and technical support and their
reaction is encouraging.
One of the 14 suspension bridges constructed in Matara
district for the convenience of the communities
The Authority initiated action to formulate its Corporate Plan in
2008. The Authority managed to achieve considerable progress on the
continuation works on major and medium scale projects commenced in the
previous years with due reference to the proposals included in the
Corporate Plan, in addition to the projects under Gama Neguma Projects.
Among the medium scale projects, Eco-Tourism Program in Kiralakele/Matara,
Fish canning factory in Kaduruduwawatte in Akmeemana Divisional
Secretary's Division and the Handugala Tea Factory with the assistance
of a private investor are worthy of mentioning.
It is computed that around 2315 direct employment opportunities will
be generated through these projects with a number of indirect employment
in the surrounding areas. In order to encourage the local milk
production and the consumption of liquid milk as envisaged in the
Mahinda Chinthana, suitable lands in the four districts have been
selected to set up 04 milk production villages, Accordingly, the land
called Kohilawagurawatte with an extent of 200 acres in Karandeniya
Division in Galle District has been taken over and infrastructure
facilities are being provided to set up a milk production village.
Along with the milk production program, a program to encourage
organic fertilizer units, bio gas units, inland fisheries and
agricultural products are also under way, in contributing to the
Government's local food production drive.
An extent of 50 acres of this land will be utilized for coconut
cultivation while a apportion of the land facing the Madu Ganga will
contain a Tourist Resort through private sector participation, he said.
Physical Progress Financial Progress
No of Beneficiaries
Projects Completed In Progress Allocation Expenditure
Rural Roads 93 02 91 55.99 1.76 13193
Low in come housing 77 - 77 94.54 15.77 1082
Social Welfare 113 05 108 33.74 4.59 11233
Religious and Cultural
Development 45 09 36 6.95 0.10 11278
Attitudinal Development 48 26 22 3.50 0.36 1686
Heath Program 39 - 39 6.82 0.18 767
Irrigation 36 - 36 9.35 - 3629
Agriculture 232 3 229 34.73 0.70 5539
Animal Husbandry 48 5 43 3.42 0.07 399
Fisheries 09 - 09 1.43 - 567
Enterprises 101 18 83 6.51 0.43 1454
Vocational Training 129 - 129 11.34 - 803
Marketing Development 31 - 31 3.63 - 4896
Grand Total 1001 68 933 271.95 23.96 56526
Vocational training in South, a success
The Vocational and Technical Training Ministry has taken steps during
the past four years to open Vocational Training Institutes and Technical
Colleges for the youth in the South who had failed to continue their
higher studies. The technical colleges in Galle, Balapitiya, Matara,
Beliatte and Weeravila technical colleges were modernised to suit the
present requirements said Vocational Training Minister Piyasena Gamage.
The status of the Galle Technical College had been elevated with the
assistance of Germany. Modern courses with practical and theoretical
were introduced and had installed new machinery for trainees. Rs. 267
million had been spent to renovate the Galle Technical College.
Vocational and Technical
The successful candidates who complete the courses successfully and
who get through the relevant examinations were given an opportunity to
enter the College of Technology commenced in 2009 and paved the way to
obtain degrees to become engineers.
On instructions of the President a technical college had been set up
in 2008 spending a sum of Rs. 134.5 billion. Two modern swimming pools
have also been constructed.
The Weerawila technical college complex construction work is in
progress and the amount estimated is Rs. 45 million.
During the year 765 students from Galle District, 375 students from
Matara District and 1,580 students from Hambantota District were
qualified to complete the courses and they all were abe to obtain
employment in their relevant fields.
Students at work
Meantime, the Vocational Training Institutes in the South had also
increased considerably marking a record. Twenty District community
vocational training centres amalgamated to Galle District Elpitiya
Vocational Training Institute had been opened, in Matara 13 centres, and
amalgamated to Mirijjawila Vocational Training Centre 13 institutes had
also been set up.
In addition special and modernised vocational institutes have been
opened in Koggala, Talalla, Ahangama, Tangalle, and Hikkaduwa with
assistance of UN aid, benefitting thousands of youth and providing them
employment. The Korean government has spent Rs. 400 million to open the
Galle Niyagama Vocational Training Centre.
During the academic year 2007/2008, 2,276 youth in Galle District,
1,150 in Matara District and 1,299 youth in Hambantota had been
successfully trained making them qualified to obtain employment in
In addition 512 youth had been trained by the National Apprenticeship
In view of the progress achieved in the South in Vocational sector
the Minister Piyasena Gamage requests the youth to make use of the
windows open for them to receive vocational training.