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"SL ports are being developed to meet maximum customer satisfactory levels"

Dr Priyath Wickrama.

Dr.Priyath B. Wickrama, Chairman of Sri Lanka Ports authority (SLPA) in  an exclusive presentation recently stated that all procedures currently being implemented at the SLPA would be further developed to reach maximum customer satisfactory levels. He made these comments at the Key Persons Forum organized by Small and Medium Enterprise Developers, the SME development Arm of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka upon the theme port user benefits through port projects. The function held recently at the Galadari Hotel in Colombo  this month also made a more desirable dialogue platform for key policy makers and the business community of Sri Lanka. 

Speaking further at the presentation  Dr. Wickrama said that through the three year plan introduced by him at the time of his appointment as the Chairman  of the institution, a number of key measures  have been initiated to uplift the efficiency of SLPA to better serve its customers around the clock. The three year plan introduced and implemented by Dr.Priyath B.Wickrama, Chairman of SLPA includes an e-based document handling system, an on line payment scheme, one stop facility for transactions, a separate domestic import yard, a cargo village, developing accessibility and mobility inside port premises, paving better paths to interact with the stake holders as well as  implementing an  aggressive marketing plan over the Port of Colombo and other port development projects. Dr.Wickrama stated that effective implementation of  all these measures were strengthening the logistics chain at the same time  making it simple so that everyone would understand what the institution was doing to extend the best services to its customers. "Starting from 2010, we have also developed another five year plan for the next five years up to 2014 with a proper time line. The two main areas it has been categorized into, will straightly focus improving the process and improving the quality of the services. We have implemented several system improvements such as the terminal management system, cargo clearing modules and a comprised finance system. Constructions of a  state of the art  cargo village in Paliyagoda and the central administrative building for SLPA will also commence soon," the  Chairman said. 

The overall benefit of the three year plan cargo village concept for the SLPA will include,  a well secured cargo warehousing and handling facility, an electronic payment scheme through the EDI facility, value added services for users, easy and quick delivery of cargo to the end consumer, guaranteed truck turnaround time as well as MCC and Entrepot  facilities.  The improved cargo handling module of  SLPA will also offer a number of benefits such as  speedy delivery operations for general and LCL cargo, high traceability and transparency of landing and delivery records, ensuring easy and accurate documentation enabling online transmission facilities of cargo manifest, electronic authorization of SLPA and the Customs while facilitating the online payments through credit cards and standing orders. The improved basic office operations of the SLPA in the process will hence ease a larger portion of complex procedures to release cargo. 

Dr.Wickrama also said that almost over 50% of the institution's container de-stuffing operation equipment will also be modernized immediately. SLPA has currently completed the constructions of its FCL yard and has commenced the internal road expansion project for easier and efficient land  transportations. 

"Our domestic volume was increasing in about 35% last year, and this year also we have marked a significant growth which  means we are reaching one million domestic containers by the end of the year. We are also in the process of installing a security camera system inside the warehouses to protect cargo. 

As we have completed the constructions of the breakwater of the Colombo South Port Expansion Project (CPEP), we are now about to start the constructions of the first private sector terminal there. In addition, we have also started constructions of our own terminal as well. The basin capacity in Colombo will be increased to meet the requirement of any future vessel that would  call the port," Dr.Wickrama  said. 

Expressing views on the latest port city development programme the Chairman of SLPA Dr.Priyath B.Wickrama said that about 500 acres from the breakwater of the CPEP up to the Galle Face will be filled up and the contract agreement with the contractor in relation to start its work have almost been finalized. The project is expected to be accomplished in 2014.  

He further said that the investments utilized on the long term basis to improve capacity inside the SL ports and also to convert Sri Lanka to a maritime and logistics centre of Asia, based upon the 'Mahinda Chinthana' policy document implemented with the initiative of His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksa is rapidly taking  the country to a fully developed status that can compete with the any sector of the international arena with the Government's theme to convert Sri Lanka to a production based economy.

Sri Lanka Ports Authority
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