In Western, North Western, Southern Provinces:
The National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) yesterday reassured that the construction work on the Colombo Financial City in the sea off Galle Face Green has had no impact on the fisheries industry or on fisheries activities in the Western, North Western or Southern Provinces.
NARA on the directive of Fisheries and Acquatic Resources Minister Mahinda Amaraweera conducted a comprehensive investigation to ascertain as to whether the ongoing construction work on the Colombo Financial City would affect the fisheries industry. Minister Amaraweera had ordered NARA to initiate a full investigation after allegations were levelled from many quarters that the fisheries industry in the three provinces would be affected as a result of the ongoing construction in the sea off Galle Face promenade.
The investigation conducted by NARA through Sonar technology yesterday, confirmed that the construction has had no impact on the fisheries industry.
The Institute in its investigation report has outlined that sand required for the reclamation of land is mined from a location in the sea which is 10 kilometers off the land.
The report has rejected the allegations made by fisher folk that marine resources in the area where the sand mining is taking place for the project are being destroyed.The report was presented to Fisheries and Acquatic Resources Minister Mahinda Amaraweera yesterday.
However, a Rs.500 million fund has been allocated through this project for the uplift of fishermen’s living standards. Arrangements are being made to utilise these funds for the provision of facilities to the fisheries folk through 57 fishing societies.
Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said after accepting the NARA report that a constant dialogue between the authorities and the fisheries communities is essential to make the Colombo Financial City project a success.