- Published on Friday, 27 July 2012 15:45
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Under the government's initiative to develop the north and east the construction of a new bridge is underway in the eastern town of Batticaloa. The new bridge being built next to the existing Kalladi Bridge will be 326 meters long and consist of two traffic lanes.
The century old Kalladi Bridge also known as Lady Manning Bridge was built during the British times with iron frames. With the end of war the former theatre of conflict is witnessing an unprecedented influx of vehicular traffic and the old Kalladi bridge is too narrow to accommodate dual way traffic. As a result there is always heavy traffic congestions throughout the day.
The government has allocated Rs. 1,700 million for the project and the new bridge is expected to be commissioned next year in parallel to the Deyata Kirula Exhibition 2013.
Reconstruction work on the old Dutch Fort in Jaffna, which was badly damaged by the LTTE during the war is nearing completion. Under the Jaffna Fort Restoration Project the government has taken initiative to restore this bastion of colonial era Sri Lanka to its former glory.
According to Economic Development Ministry sources the government has spent Rs 104.5 million and the Netherlands has granted Rs 55 million for this project.
The Dutch Fort was once a major tourist attraction. The X-shaped Dutch Church, which was destroyed by the LTTE during the war and the Presidential House within the fort is also under renovation. Already work on the four sides of the five sided fort have been completed.
The Sri Lanka Army assisted in the clearing of the moat surrounding the four acre fort. The LTTE had dumped caches of ammunitions and mortars in the moat surrounding the fort.
The Fort was first built as a small garrison in Jaffna by the Portuguese in 1618. The Dutch captured it in 1658 and expanded it further and finally it came under the British in 1795.
When completed the Fort will surely be a must see spot in every visitor's itinerary to the north.
In addition to the Fort the old park in Jaffna has also been given a facelift. The park which was in a state of neglect due to terrorist related activities has been renovated with added facilities. Much care was taken during renovation to preserve its archeological value and beauty. The public can now enjoy a peaceful stroll in the park thanks to the efforts of the government.