Development of infrastructure in tourism zones begins. The Minister of Tourism, Hon. Prasanna Ranatunga says that the necessary allocations will be made for the construction of roads, bridges, information centers and toilets in tourism zones in Sri Lanka.

The Minister said that the project is planned to be implemented in major tourism zones throughout the country as well as in new areas that have been identified as new tourism attractions.

He was speaking at the inauguration of the construction of a new access bridge at the Henarathgoda Botanic Gardens in Asgiriya, Gampaha.

This new access bridge will be constructed across the Attanagallu Oya to reach Gampaha Malwatta from the Gampaha - Ja-Ela main road. A sum of Rs. 45 million has been allocated for this purpose under the Rural Land Project of the Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Government.

The National Botanic Gardens incurs Rs. 16 million for this new bridge. The new 30 meter long bridge is expected to be completed within 210 days. Although the bridge was planned to be built when Hon.Basil Rajapaksa was the Minister of Economic Development, it was not implemented in the past.

Hon.Minister Prasanna Ranatunga further stated that the infrastructure facilities in the tourism zones will be developed under the several projects of the Ministry of Local Government. In addition, in consultation with the Department of Wildlife and Forest Conservation, steps have been taken to develop the tourism zones associated with the wildlife zones and the identified tourist centers. The Minister said that the Gampaha Henarathgoda Botanic Gardens will be developed as a tourism attraction for local and foreign tourists and steps will be taken to improve the facilities required for local and foreign tourists visiting the Botanic Gardens.

He said that the government has decided to extend the relief provided to those engaged in the tourism industry to another six months due to the Easter attack and the Covid pandemic and that the relevant circulars have already been issued and the government hopes that the tourism industry will recover soon. The Minister said that the government intends to develop the tourism industry even more than it was before the onset of the Covid pandemic.

State Minister, Hon. Roshan Ranasinghe and Director General of the Department of Botanic Gardens, Dr. Shelomi Krishnarajah also addressed the gathering.

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