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Yacht Marina planned at Galle Harbor riddled with complaints of favoritism

Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has been toying with the idea of setting up a large-scale Yacht Marina in the Galle Harbour north of Colombo Port according to Sri Lankan media reports. A small Marina was built in the Galle port spending over Rs. 150 million and a few Yachts sometimes use it.

 There have been adverse comments about the one-and-only yacht marina in Sri Lanka. Many small yacht owners who love Sri Lanka have been placing adverse comments about the behavior of the Customs and SLPA security who wait like vultures to grab ‘something’ from anyone there. They complain that authorities have chosen to keep a blind eye to the comments made by the Yacht owners.

In spite of all these adverse comments, the SLPA called offers worldwide for marina operators to expand the marina and build a world-class Marina to augment the tourism- drive to convert whole of Galle as a tourist destination.

Several years have gone by and finally the tender for establishment of marina was closed on 21st August. Many foreign parties collected tender documents.

Before the opening of the tender, emails have been sent around by a yacht company, accusing SLPA of laying down tender constricting conditions for the Marina. It is alleged that the tender has been tailor-made for one particular company. The copies of complaint have been sent to Prime Minister and also all tender board members.

All renderers have refrained from submitting proposals, claiming foul play. The accusing company has not collected tender documents.

Further investigations have revealed that the signatures on the complaint have been forged and the company concerned intends to write to SLPA denying responsibility for the letter.

This is how some scrupulous elements in Sri Lanka manipulate tender procedures. Officers might even have been compelled to cancel the tender as there was only one bidder.

The National Expert Strategy (NES), launched recently at Temple Trees with much publicity says nautical tourism need to be developed as part of a plan to generate 22 billion USD by 2022.

If SLPA decides to cancel the tender, establishment of a long awaited yacht marina will delay further and NES will become just another dream.


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