Sri Lanka Tourism with the assistance of several other ministers will redevelop Hamilton canal, (Dutch Canal) a 14.5 km (9 mi) canal connecting Puttalam to Colombo, passing through Negombo in Sri Lanka said State Minister of Tourism Promotion Arundika Fernando yesterday. The canal was constructed by the British in 1802 and completed in 1804.
He said that the Dutch Canal would be converted to a major tourist attraction similar to canals in Europe. “We will also connect it to the Colombo Port City making it a more viable venture.”Developing the Hamilton Canal was first undertaken by Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa in 2008 and Rs. 600 million was invested under a development plan drawn up by the Moratuwa University.
The canal and its vicinity are of much environmental importance since the area is home to different species of fish, birds, and plants and rich in bio-diversity, making it ideal for ecotourism. “We will also offer land for investors to open restaurants and motels around the Dutch canal.”
In addition, a mini cruise too would be introduced starting from the Colombo Port city.”He said the Ministry of Fishers, Urban Development Authority, The Sri Lanka Lands Reclamation Corporation, and Provincial Road Development Authority and Provincial Councils will also be given a role in making this project a success.
Fernando said that the second step in the project would be to launch a scheduled passenger boat service to Fort attracting the office staff. “This will help to ease traffic congestion.”The project will also help the prawn farming industry since it would provide less contaminated water to prawn farms.“We also hope to get Dutch government assistance towards the success of this project.”