(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said identified railway stations and historic forts are being developed as tourist attractions and Rs. 162 million has been allocated for this purpose this year.
Accordingly, the Bandarawela and Nanu Oya railway stations and the historic forts of Mannar, Kalpitiya and Batticaloa will be developed, the Minister said.
The Ministry of Tourism has commenced the development of 07 railway stations as tourist attractions. Kalutara, Unawatuna, Bentota, Kandy and Negombo will be developed in this manner and Bandarawela and Nanu Oya railway stations will be developed this year. It is to be done in collaboration with the Railway Department as a tourist attraction.
The Minister said that the beautification of the front of the railway stations and the rest rooms, the construction of tourist facilities, the provision of modern seating facilities and the improvement of sanitary facilities will be carried out under this. The amount allocated for the development of railway stations is 62 million rupees.
In addition, Rs. 100 million will be spent this year for the reconstruction of the historic forts at Mannar, Kalpitiya and Batticaloa. The Portuguese forts at Mannar and Batticaloa were built in 1560 and 1628, while the Dutch fort at Kalpitiya was built in 1667.
Minister Prasanna Ranatunga stated that the officials have been instructed to carry out the relevant reconstruction work prserving the historical significance of these forts.
The Department of Archeology and the Central Cultural Fund are also assisting in this restoration work.