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Press Release

September 22, 2011

New Topographical Maps of Jaffna District presented to Minister of Economic Development

PhotoDigital Topographic Map (Image)

The 1st batch of the newly developed topographical maps for the Jaffna District were ceremonially presented by Mr. S.M.W. Fernando, Surveyor General of Survey Department and H.E. Kunio Takahashi, Ambassador of Embassy of Japan to Hon. Basil Rajapakse, Minister of Economic Development and Hon. Janaka Bandara Tennakoon, Minister of Land and Land Development on September 22nd 2011 at the Parliament with the presence of Mr. Akira Shimura, Chief Representative of JICA Sri Lanka Office.

The project called "the Digital Topographic Mapping Project for Reconstruction of Northern Region" has been implemented by the Survey Department with technical cooperation from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) since 2010 through its grant assistance.

Currently, the available maps for Northern Province are decades old, and could not be updated due to inaccessibility to the Northern area. With JICA's assistance, aerial photography of the entire Northern Province had been completed, and the maps are now being developed for Jaffna and Mannar Districts. The first batch, handed over today, targeted to southern part of Jaffna consisted of 38 sheets and remaining part of Jaffna and Mannar District is due December this year. The maps for Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Vavuniya District will be developed by the Survey Department utilizing aerial photos, equipments and techniques transferred through the project.

Salient features of the newly developed digital maps are the followings:

  1. High resolution digital maps (1/10,000) which can be even enlarged to 1/5,000 scale. (currently, only 1/50,000 paper maps were available)
  2. Maps can be updated whenever necessary reconciling with satellite photos or drawing maps of development projects
  3. All key features of land use such as topographical features, land use and contours are available


Mr. S.M.W. Fernando, Surveyor General of Survey Department says "These detailed maps will enable governmental organizations and development partners to efficiently plan and design the development strategy of infrastructure, disaster management, education, health and so on in the Northern Province."

Survey Department and JICA will hold the Seminar to introduce the project's activities and share the result of technical transfer on 4th November 2011 at Colombo.

Those maps will be available for public purchase from the Survey Department of Sri Lanka from January 2012.

JICA's contribution to the reconstruction of the Northern Province also includes on-going projects such as the construction of the Killinochchi-Vavuniya power transmission line, rehabilitation of irrigation tanks (PEACE project) and poverty alleviation micro finance project through ODA loan assistance, and livelihood development in Jaffna and Mannar Districts, improvement of Jaffna teaching hospital and construction of the Mannar bridge and causeway through grant assistance.


PhotoTechnical Transfer from Japanese Expert


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