So I called David Peiris (Motor Company) cause I want to buy a trishaw. This was always a dream of mine but people laughed at me. Now that it’s part of a business idea, we were checking out prices. They’re actually horrific, Rs. 450,000 for a new Bajaj 4-stroke. But that’s not what really bothered me. It’s that the dealer said we’d have to pay an extra Rs. 4,300 to transport the thing from Hambantota. Why?
Apparently all vehicles are now being shipped to Hambantota. They give a convincing rationale, saying that the Colombo Port has congestion, but to me, that’s still an extra Rs. 4,300 I have to pay.
Since the Colombo Port is being dramatically expanded, one wonders if this will continue.
Honestly, I think a lot of these Hambantota developments could have been quite happily moved to Trincomallee. Think about it. The Power Minister is saying the Norochcholai power plant would have been better built there as the harbour is deep enough to load coal directly. The harbour itself is naturally one of the deepest natural docks in the world, so no digging required as per Hambantota.
I’m not saying I want to pay equal or more to have a vehicle sent from there, but if we are going to build new things, why not build them where they make slightly more sense? I mean, I’d still be paying to move this thing from Trinco, but building a port there would definitely cost me less as a taxpayer. A port, power plant and airport around Trinco would make physical sense and serve the booming economic area around Anuradhapura and the North and East.
Instead we get lopsided development in the south which we pay for directly through taxes and indirectly through higher prices on stuff people are forced to ship there. Like trishaws.