Tourism Ministry Secretary George Michael told the media that more than 60 prospective investors have applied to build hotels in the newly proposed 8-kilometre tourism zone on the Kuchchaveli coast.
It is learnt that most of the applicants are joint collaborations with foreign investors.
Mr Michael said a crucial meeting will take place on the 9th of November at the Trincomalee GA s office.
This meeting will be chaired by Mr. Michael and invited are the prospective investors, Chief Minister Sivanesaturai Chandrakanthan, District Secretary, Land Commissioner, Tourism Development Authority, UDA, Coast Conservation Department, Environment Ministry, RDA, CEB, the Water Supply and Drainage Board and SLT to the meeting.
Among all stakeholders in the proposed project, expected to inject hundreds of millions of dollars in investment into Trincomalee District.
The Friday’s meeting is primarily to brief investors on the guidelines and to define timeline for the investments, he said.
The new tourism zone will come up on approximately 500 to 600 acres of state land. The UDA plan includes public and recreational areas and new roads. TDA, the successor to the former Tourist Board will undertake the development of public areas.
It is learnt that Chief Minister Chandrakanthan is not happy with the project prepared by the UDA at the request of the Tourism Ministry as he has repeatedly argued that alienation of lands is a devolved subject under the 13th Amendment. A few months ago the government halted all ad hoc state land alienations done there amidst allegations that it was happening amidst much corruption. There is a severe demand for coastal land in the district with unspoilt beaches for tourism with the ending of the war in May.
Secretary to the Chief Minister Ranjini Nadarajapillai, said they had not received any invitation to the conference; however, Michael assured that it was on the way.
The Ministry Secretary said there was neither acquiring of anyone’s land nor anyone walking away with any land and whatever investment there would be for the benefit of the hitherto undeveloped areas and most of the jobs created would also go to the people of the region.
The central government, he said was in it only to ensure standards are maintained and approvals are done according to the rules more in a consultative approach, while the actual allocation of land for each hotel project can be done by the Provincial Council, the GA and the Land Commissioner.