Jaffna: another step towards faster development

By Pabodha Hettige and Azra Ameen

The government is planning to reopen the Atchuvely Industrial Estate in eastern Jaffna in 2012, an official of the Ministry of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development told The Island.

"The government is planning to reopen the Atchuvely Industrial Estate with the assistance of the Indian government," Ministry Secretary V. Sivagnanasothy said.

He said that the Indian government has promised to give Rs. 174 million under the Small Grants Development Assistance Programme, while the government of Sri Lanka will contribute Rs.25 million for the project.

The money will be allocated to upgrade electricity, water, sanitation and other related facilities.

A steering committee has already been appointed to look into infrastructure development. The committee will be chaired by V. Sivagnanasothy.   

"The ministry has requested the Industrial Development Board to work on tender documents, work plans and other related documents," he said.  

Last week, a meeting was held in Jaffna with the participation of the relevant authorities to find potential investors for the industrial estate.

"Both, previous and new investors have expressed interests in investing when the premises is reopened," he said.

"Several key figures in the garment industry have also shown interests and if garment factories are set up we could generate 3,000 to 4,000 employment opportunities for the citizens of the Northern Province, Sivagnanasothy said.  

Atchuvely Industrial Estate was originally established in 1971 in a land area of 65 acres and 33 units of small and medium scale enterprises were functioning until it was severely damaged due to the war.  

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