Oct 13, 2011 (LBO) – The Sri Lankan state is getting ready to acquire land and pay compensation in the second phase of the project to build a large deep-water port in Hambantota on the south coast. The extent of the submerged rock was missed during initial surveys and the cost of blasting it has sent the total project cost up by almost half.
Also, cargo quays at the port are yet to be equipped with cranes form loading and unloading. A government statement said a committee of officials has been appointed to identify occupants entitled for compensation for lands which are to be acquired for the second phase of the Hambantota Port Development Project.
“Lands required for the second phase of the Hambantota Port Development Project and the basic survey work pertaining to these lands have been finalized,” it said.
The first phase of the Hambantota port project was opened late last year but it is yet to host maritime commerce despite being only a few miles from the main trade route across the Indian Ocean.
A large undersea rock at the port entrance has to be cleared before deep-draft ships can enter the port, which was excavated from a drained saltern.