ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lanka's export industrial zone near the main airport in Katunayake is short of water and cannot accommodate water guzzling industries and is planning a location in the East near an estuary for such industries.
A representative of Sri Saravana Spinning Mills (Pvt) Ltd of India told an 'Ease of Doing Business' forum at Sri Lanak's finance ministry that their application to set up atextile factory on a 20-acre land that is now used as a garbage dump had been stuck due to a lack of water.
The firm was willing to pay 109,000 dollars an acre as rent to set up an $18 million factory, but after 10 months, no progress had been made.
The Board of Investment's Katunanayak zone director said the first phase of the factory required 1,100 cubic metres of water and 2,200 cubic meters of water in the second phase, which was simply not available.
At the moment, the entire zone uses only 8,000 cubic metres of water per day, with 2,000 cubic metres coming from tube wells, 1,500 from the water board and 3,500 from Negombo's water supply scheme.
Due to the drought, water from the tube wells were reduced, he said.
The Water Board had promised more water from the Kelani River under a supply scheme that will be operational in 2019.
Textile factories require large volumes of water and cause pollution.
The BOI is currently working on an industrial zone in Batticaloa where the Mahaweli River falls to the sea to locate water-intensive industries.
Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake asked the BOI to work with the investor and provide them with a location quickly. (Colombo/Apr06/2017)