The government has decided to lease out 10 more islands in the Kalpitiya area in Puttalam for tourism projects.
Deputy Economic Development Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena has said that there are 31 islands in the seas off Kalpitiya and four islands have already been leased out to companies for tourism projects.
The government has so far leased out the islands Vellai -1, II, III and Ippantivu.
Abeywardena has said that the government was currently carrying out survey work in 10 islands – Baththalangunduwa, Palliyawate, Uchchamunai, Eramutivu, Mutuwal (Dutch Bay), Periya Arachchalai, Sinna Arachchalai, Sinna Eramutivu, Eramutivu West and Kakativu 1.
According to the Minister, the land acquisition process is underway in the rest of 17 islands – Lamputivu alias Pambativu, Kilitivu, Neduntivu Mattutivu, Ambantativu, Pullupitiya alias Somativu Nariya Kutti, Pasikuda alias Maripututivu, Odayapitiya alias Udayurputi, Kakativu 3 and three other islands with no specific name.
However, Abeywardane has noted that only the Baththalangunduwa which is 145 hectares in extent is occupied by 1,500 families and that there are less than 1,000 families in the other islands.