(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – Ports, Shipping and Southern Development Minister Sagala Ratnayake says time has come to increase the capacity of the Colombo Port and measures will be taken to develop the East Container Terminal of the port in a short time to increase its efficiency.
Joining the committee stage budget debate in parliament yesterday (25). Minister Ratnayake said Sri Lanka Port Authority handle more container operations than other companies.
“During the past few years, there have been many victories and challenges in the ports and shipping sectors. It is our aim to achieve quantitative and qualitative growth in this sector,” he said.
He noted that Sri Lanka port has ranked first in container handling operations in the world for the first time. “Last year Colombo port handled 7 million TEUs. The Port is facing a huge challenge. Soon, the capacity of the Colombo harbor has to be increased. The decision to widen the capacity of the port was delayed due to certain decisions. That mistake should be corrected.”
“The Harbor is reaching full capacity. The fifth part of Jaya Container Terminal has been approved by the Cabinet. The East Container Terminal (ECT) should be developed. Part of it has been built. There were various suggestions. The suggestions came to a successful conclusion. Japan will give a concessionary loan for the development of the terminal. The SLPA has the ownership of the ECT. Steps will be taken to develop the Colombo port activities in a short period of time to make operations more efficient,” Minister Ratnayake said.
The Port & Shipping Minister said the Galle harbor is being developed as a tourist harbor. The Trincomalee harbor and the Kankesanthurai harbor will also be developed, he added.