The North Western Province (NWP) deserves not only agricultural development since it is capable of becoming an important commercial, economic, trade and investment hub of Sri Lanka as well.
According to Agricultural Department sources, there are 54,692 hectares of paddy land in the province. Industries based on coconut are part of the economy of the NWP. Of these industries, the coir industry takes a prominent place throughout the NWP. Coir dust is also a major foreign exchange earner because it is exported to the Middle East and European countries where it is in demand.
In addition to coir dust, cut flowers, foliage plants, handloom, pottery and mushroom cultivation are also major income sources in the region. Ornamental flowers also contribute to resolve the unemployment issue in the area. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s key objective is to develop rural areas, making villages the micro-centres of growth.
There are various ongoing projects at the grassroots level in every corner of the NWP, most of which are to be completed before the scheduled date. Kurunegala town is fast becoming more popular and a large number of investors are seeking avenues in the suburbs of Kurunegala Elephant Rock due to its pleasant environment.
Badagamuwa Tourist Information Center officials said Kurunegala will be an attractive tourist destination in the near future since many investors are eyeing Kurunegala at the moment. Large-, medium- and small-scale projects in electrification, construction of roads, tanks, buildings and houses, agriculture and various other social activities are being implemented in the province.
The Central Expressway project is to be completed before July this year. There are also plans to construct access roads between Kadawatha and Kandy, and Kuruneagla and Dambulla. Plans are afoot to upgrade Kurunegala city to a strong economic centre and convert the city into a tourist zone, Road and Highways, Ports and Shipping Minister Johnston Fernando said.
A large number of monuments of archeological, historical, cultural and religious importance add value to this area.
The Badagamuwa Comfort Center serves local and foreign tourists visiting the historical Ethugalpura Kingdom.
NWP Chief Secretary Gamini Ilangaratne said 80 percent of rural roads, electricity and health facilities in Wayamba have been completed.
“We have selected 343 rural villages and hope to develop animal husbandry and distribute agricultural equipment among cultivators. He said the government expects to initiate 92 new projects in the NWP this year.
Panduwasnuwara, Hettipola and Bingiriya electorates are famous for the pottery industry.
According to the Mahawamsa, King Pandukabhaya rendered a great service to expand the pottery industry around his palace and suburbs which led to the development of the pottery industry in Wayamba.
The Deduru Oya project is the largest irrigation project in the NWP that costs about Rs. 6,000 million. Under the Deduru Oya project, drinking water for about 100,000 families will be provided. The total capacity of the Deduru Oya reservoir is 75 million cubic metres.