Kalpitiya

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Kalpitiya
Kalpitiya is located in Sri Lanka
Kalpitiya
Kalpitiya
Coordinates: 08°10′0″N 79°43′0″E / 8.16667°N 79.71667°E / 8.16667; 79.71667Coordinates: 08°10′0″N 79°43′0″E / 8.16667°N 79.71667°E / 8.16667; 79.71667
Country Sri Lanka
Province North Western
Area
 • Total 16.73 km2 (6.46 sq mi)
Population (2009)
 • Total 64,908
 • Density 3,880/km2 (10,000/sq mi)
Time zone Sri Lanka Standard Time Zone (UTC+05:30)

Kalpitiya is located in Puttalam district, North Western province of Sri Lanka. It is known for its serene beauty. It consists of 14 islands. It has a total area of 16.73 km2. The people of Kalpitiya are mostly fishermen. It is now developing as an attractive tourist destination.

History[edit]

Rich in natural beauty, Kalpitiya's history is no less interesting. Records going far back reveal that the peninsula was associated with maritime trade and smuggling escapades since ancient times. It was first colonised by the Portuguese in early 17th Century. The arrival of the Dutch eventually resulted in the ousting of the Portuguese from here and elsewhere in the island. Historical records show that during the Dutch period of the island's colonial history, the northern end of the peninsula was used as a strategic base for a military garrison and naval outpost to monopolise trade supplies to the mainland. A well preserved Dutch-era fort (incorporating an earlier Portuguese-era church) occupied by the Sri Lanka Navy, and a Dutch church remain today. Nearby at Talawila to the south, a vibrant annual festival keeps alive its Portuguese heritage, at the ancient St Anne's church festival, when thousands of Catholic devotees descend upon the tiny village to celebrate St Anne's Day on July 26.[1]

Tourism industry[edit]

It is now developing as an attractive tourist destination. It is a marine sanctuary with a diversity of habitats ranging from bar reefs, flat coastal plains, saltpans, mangroves swamps, salt marshes and vast sand dune beaches. It provides nursing grounds for many species of fish and crustaceans. The coastal waters are also home to spinner, bottlenose and Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins, whales, sea turtles, and even the elusive dugong that are of great appeal to potential tourists.[2] The Sri Lankan government has now formulated a master plan for the development of tourism industry here.[3][4]

Alankuda is a stretch of beach in Kalpitiya that is home to popular beach hotels in the area.[5] The beach is a starting point for off-shore whale watching and dolphin watching in Kalpitiya and offers various water related activities.[5][6] Hotels and resorts here include Bar Reef Resort, Palagama Beach, Khomba House, Udekki and Dolphin Beach Resort.[6]

Islands of Kalpitiya[edit]

No Name of Island Area
1 Battalangunduwa 145.53 ha
2 Palliyawatta 60.89 ha
3 Vellai I 1.55 ha
4 Vellai II 10.80 ha
5 Vellai III 13.70 ha
6 Uchchamunai 449.30 ha
7 Ippantivu 76.88 ha
8 Periya Arichchalai 45.60 ha
9 Sinna Arichchalai 16.82
10 Eramutivu 101.52 ha
11 Sinna Eramutivu 2.22 ha
12 Eramutivu West 4.53 ha
13 Kakativu 4.53 ha
14 Mutwal(Dutch Bay) 715.14 ha

Proposed development projects[edit]

  • Domestic Airport - Uchchamunai
  • Under Water Amusement Park - Kandakkuliya
  • Golf Course - Dutch Bay
  • Race Course - Kalpitiya
  • Cricket Playground - Kalpitiya

Allegations of land grab[edit]

The area is one of the 15 sites for the country’s Tourism Development Strategy which was formulated as early as 2003. Acquisition of some 4000 acres of land for the project has begun as early as in 2004 pursuant to a Cabinet decision. Since 2003, around 1000 acres of lands which amounts to about 25 per cent of the Kalpitiya islands' total land area have been grabbed in various ways and means from at least 2500 families. Already 16 resorts or hotels and access roads are proposed for construction in the area.

Post-tsunami (2005 onwards), those in the tourism business acquired damaged coastal areas at low prices around the country. Again in 2009, in the post-war period, investors in the tourism industry scrambled to ‘acquire’ potential business sites to capitalise on the reconstruction phase.[7]

Land seizures have also occurred by scrupulously removing the names of the residents from government documents such as the voters’ registry, abusing legal ownership regulations and stipulations of the government and ignoring provisions in the customary law, using coercive means upon the residents who are unable to produce titles to the land they have been occupying and by taking over Beach Seine points and anchorage points by force.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "History of kalpitiya". www.dolphinbeach.lk. Retrieved 26 Oct 2013. 
  2. ^ "Sri Lanka's tropical beaches: A developmenttrap". colombopage. 25 Oct 2013. 
  3. ^ "Kalpitiya Dutch Bay Resort". www,sltda.lk. Retrieved 11 Nov 2013. 
  4. ^ "Kalpitiya to develop as a tourist hub" (PDF). www.sltda.lk. Retrieved 11 Nov 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Alankuda Beach. Alankuda Beach. Retrieved on 2015-05-08.
  6. ^ a b Alankuda Beach. Alankuda Beach. Retrieved on 2015-05-08.
  7. ^ "Kalpitiya land grab for tourism". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 11 Nov 2013.