Government moots canal transport in Colombo –News Item
Posted on February 11th, 2016

DR Sarath Obeysekera

As the ex-chairman Sri Lanka Land  Reclamation Corporation which owns and maintains canal system in Colombo and also as the Ex CEO of Colombo Dockyard and now a MD of a boat building company I can suggest following .

Canal system gets dried up during drought period and over flow during rainy  season  . The jetties to be built to act as stations for passengers to get in and out should be built which should be held by pivoted arms so that when the water level goes  up and down the jetty goes up and down providing  variable landing level

Canal should be dredged quite often during drought period to make the depth of the canal sufficient for a boat to sail

All the boats should be built with two passenger rows only and long enough to carry about 30-40 passengers with low noise engines

Australians have developed solar powered boats which can be run at very low cost and with least pollution

Every boat can have the side of the hull painted with advertisement of large companies who can maintain the boats

Companies like CEYNOR coming under Ministry of Fisheries can join with a private company to develop a suitably shaped long boat like the ones used in dirty canals in Bangkok

You need over 100 boats to ply along the canal starting from Diyatha Uyana closer to parliament roundabout and one boat can go  via Heen Ela to Wellawatte and the other to Kollonnawa and into Kelani river and sail towards outfall

SLLRDC may deploy private sector to operate and charge a royalty for using the canal

We may even get a cue from the Tiffany meal supply system operated in India where employment can be given to the Vallah” who may take the lunch to office workers using the boats

Traffic Police can take a rest in the morning as they do not have to stand under the hot sun anymore

Only problem we may encounter is whether we can find a dynamic leader to  manage the operation without getting drowned  in the canal bureaucracy



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