A special Committee has been appointed to maintain a smooth and efficient function in Port operation for ships carrying equipment and other essential items intended to rebuild the nation devastated by the tsunami.
Ports and Aviation Ministry Secretary Ariyarathne Hewage is the Committee Chairman appointed on Port and Aviation Minister Mangala Samaraweera's instructions. The Committee comprises members representing Public Security, Law and Order, Foreign Affairs, Social Welfare, Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Sri Lanka Navy and Sri Lanka Customs.
The Committee under the supervision of Ports and Aviation Deputy Ministers Dilan Perera and Dayashritha Thisera, is in overall in charge of all operational functions in Colombo, Galle and Trincomalee to make the unloading expeditiously.
Massive quantities of heavy machinery, equipment, cement, iron and various other building materials used for rebuilding houses, hospitals, bridges, schools and factories destroyed by the disaster are to reach Sri Lanka soon.
In addition, large quantities of foodstuff, clothes and medicine are expected to reach Sri Lanka as relief aid. Arrangements are made to unload the cargo in the Ports of Colombo, Trincomalee and Galle soon.
The Sri Lanka Government has been informed by many countries, various social and private organisations, and Non Governmental Organisations of their willingness to provide equipment and material to rebuild Sri Lanka. The Committee has streamlined a special scheme to make expeditious unloading of cargo of such ships harbouring Sri Lanka.
The Committee will tailor its functions falling in line with the successful planning and scheme adopted recently at the Bandaranaike International Airport to unload the cargo which reached Sri Lanka by more than 250 aircrafts with aid packages.
The special committee will make arrangements to inspect all cargo reaching Sri Lanka ports sent by other countries, organisations and to organise facilities in advance to transport such unloaded cargo to required destinations, providing additional machinery for operations as, and if necessary to lease out such machinery or to provide them on rent basis.
A group of port officials appointed by Sri Lanka Ports Authority Managing Director W.G. Samaratunga is to meet daily to solve practical problems and other difficulties pertaining to the expeditions of unloading equipment and other materials that reach Sri Lankan Ports meant for rebuilding Sri Lanka.
(DN - 24/01/2005)