With the 30-year conflict and the state of emergency coming to an end in Sri Lanka, India and the island nation are contemplating an ambitious project to connect power grids of the two countries with undersea cables to allow bilateral trade in power.
Sri Lankan High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam told presspersons here on Saturday that a feasibility study decided it was “doable”.
The project was still in preliminary stage and the points of connection were likely to be Karnataka and Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka. The grid connection, he added, would allow the country producing surplus power to trade with the other. “In the current situation, Sri Lanka has excess capacity in wind and thermal power and there is demand in India,” he said.
This was part of an effort to “integrate economies in a manner that benefits both nations.” He said Sri Lanka was an ideal hub for Indian entrepreneurs. With GDP growth rate of 8.5 per cent and per capita income of $2,400, Sri Lanka was a middle income country, he added. Mr. Kariyawasam said Sri Lanka hoped to soon resume the ferry between Dhanushkodi and Talaimannar “to get back to the old era” of bonhomie.
Some 2,88,000 people, of the 2,92,000 in relief camps, had been resettled, though the “challenge of livelihood” continued to be a big concern.
“There are no proper roads, rail link and means of livelihood,” he said, and added that an Indian company was building the rail road to Jaffna.
He said about 60,000 Sri Lankan Tamils now in Tamil Nadu were welcome to return if they were willing. (The Hindu)