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Canal boat service launched
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Sri Lanka Transportation
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TOPIC: Canal boat service launched
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Canal boat service launched 10 Years, 10 Months ago Karma: 0
Sri Lanka's first ever Canal Boat Service that was launched by the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) to transport passengers from Nawala to Wellawatte has become a popular passenger service from its inception on March 12.

The Boat Service is currently operated between the Open University embarkation point at Nawala and the Jetty pier near St. Peter's College, Bambalapitiya.

The Sri Lanka Navy launched this ferry service with the blessings of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and SLN, Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe.

At present four specially constructed fibre glass boats have been deployed in this passenger transportation service.

In an interview with the Sunday Observer , Captain, SLN, Athula Senarath said the service has been very popular among University students and schoolchildren.

He said the service is provided free and it is currently operated only during the early hours from 7.30 to 9.30 am and in the evenings from 4.00 to 6.00 p.m.

"The boats are equipped with comfortable seats and removable roofs for the benefit of passengers,".

He said each boat has the seating capacity for 12 passengers and it takes between 12 to 15 minutes for a journey between Nawala and Wellawatte.

It is said passengers who travel by bus or in their own vehicles between Nawala and Wellawatte during the daytime take over 35 minutes or more for each journey.

Captain Senarath said the boats were manufactured in the Navy workshop at Welisara.

"Each boat is operated by two to three navy personnel and life saving arrangements are also provided by well-trained navy divers in case of emergencies,".

He said although the canal is running for over eight kilometres from Nawala to Kirillapone, the boat service is operated only two kilometres from the Open University embarkation point to Wellawatte pier.

"Since the service is becoming popular day by day, the Navy has decided to deploy more boats in the future.

"We also have an idea to expand this service for the benefit of foreign tourists," he said.

He said similar passenger transportation services will commence in the next few months along the canals of Dehiwela, Diyawanna Oya, Heen Ela, Dematagoda and St. Sebastian, so that passengers could reach their destinations within a very short duration.

The Navy also thanked the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation Development Corporation for commencing a dredging and cleaning program of the canal, the Central Environmental Authority for carrying out awareness programs for people on the canal environment, the Dehiwala-Mt. Lavinia UC and the Colombo MC for their invaluable support to have a smooth transport service.

Source: SundayObserver
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