Elephant Pass saltern to produce 70,000 tons of salt annually

By Pabodha Hettige

The Elephant Pass saltern would have, after its reopening, the capacity to generate nearly 3,000 employment opportunities, Secretary to the Ministry of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development, V. Sivagnanasothy said. "It is expected to boost the national economy," he said. Once reopened, the saltern would be able to produce nearly 70,000 tons of salt annually.

Currently, feasibility studies were being conducted to re-open the saltern and the project proposal would be finalised soon, he said.

Currently demining teams had almost cleared 95 per cent of land in the area.

Responding to a query Sivagnansothy said the Ministry of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development would accelerate the re-establishment of the Achuveli Industrial Estate by developing 25 acres immediately. "Construction of the administrative block of the premises is already underway and the Environment Impact Assessment is also being done along with water and soil quality testing," he said. By 2012 internal road networks, electricity and many other facilities would be available at the industrial estate, he said.

The ministry has already received Rs. 199 million for the development of the premises, Rs. 174 million from the government of India as a grant and Rs. 25 million from the Sri Lankan government.

Sivagnanasothy said that currently the ministry was also engaged in the development of cottage industries under ‘Divi Neguma’ livelihood development programme and it would soon take the steps to provide credit facilities to the beneficiaries.

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