Minister for Traditional Industries and enterprise dvelopment Douglas Devananda
The first major industrial development project will kick start in the Jaffna peninsula shortly when the 65 acre Industrial estate in Atchuvely will be developed bilaterally by the Government of Sri Lanka in partnership with the Indian government with the view of entrepreneurs to commence their business ventures and generate economic growth and the livelihood development in the area said the Minister for Traditional Industries and enterprise development Douglas Devananda.
The Estate which is situated at Atchuvely has two access roads one, from the Chankanai and the other from the Navakkiri and is a central to the peninsula's access points such as to Jaffna.It is onlt 10 miles, Palaly Road a 12.20 miles, Palaly Airport 4 miles, Kankesanturai Harbour & station only 8 miles, Point Pedro Harbour 10 miles whilst to the Chunnakam Railway station a just 6 miles making it central to the development agenda of the Small and Medium sector industries of Sri Lanka. The infrastructure facilities will be developed by the Industrial Development Board and Board of Investment. In 1983 there were 745 industrial SMEs in Jaffna but during the war times it reduced to a meager 34 whilst the fisheries sector the daily catch of fish exceeded 40,000 metric tons in the 1990's during war times it receded to just 12000 MT but now one year post liberalization the economy had doubles in value over two hundred company's operate out of Jaffna whilst the fish catch has once again touched the previous highs with relaxation of farming to the 4000 fishermen who's only livelihood was stunted for decades due to the war.
In the first phase of the development template 25 acres will be developed with four large apparel comoany's wanting to operate with an investment of 3 million dollars each.
There after almost 48 Small and Medium Enterprises are very keen to develop their business that includes the famous Nelli crush company Varadha said Minister Devananda.
The industrial zone was operational in 1971 and ceased functioning in 1990 when the war broke out.
The total development will include Development of the Infrastructure facilities for 25 acres which would include fencing, construction of guard room, quarters, gate, water supply scheme with treatment plant, electricity and power supply, approach and internal roads, telecommunication facilities, admin buildings.
The total estimated cost for this project is Rs199Mn. The Indian government will provide financial assistance Rs174 Mn to activate this project in 2011 and 2012. Another domestic fund of Rs 25 Mn will be granted by the Government of Sri Lanka said Minister Devananda.
The peninsular has population of approximately 559,619 people as per the 2007 special census that was carried out with those below 18 years being 188, 999 people. In households the number is around a 130,000. The contribution to the national agenda is targeted to be at least 10 percent in the years to come so that per capita income can be realized to be benefitial to the people of Jaffna. After completion of the reactivation of the estate, it is expected to generate 4000 direct employment opportunities in the area.