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Large-Scale Housing, Water & Sanitation Projects at Dunsinane Estate of Elpitiya Plantations

17 Aug

158 new homes were built at Dunsinane estate, in the Nuwara Eliya District, owned and managed by Elpitiya Plantations PLC.    Out of  404 Housing  Units  which are being  constructed under the Indian Government’s large-scale housing project initiated in the country at a cost of Rs. 1.2 Mn.,  158 Housing Units were declared opened recently by Hon. Ranil Wickramasinghe, the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.

The Indian Government initiated a programme to construct 14,000 housing units to provide decent houses in light of improving living standards of plantation workers under the ‘Plantation Villages’ concept introduced by the Sri Lankan Government in Central and Uva Provinces of Sri Lanka.

The above programme was initially launched in October 2014, as the first ever mega project to construct housing units at the Dunsinane estate and to provide public amenities such as a Child Development Centre, Community Development Centre and an internal road network for easy access to all housing units.

The General Manager of Dunsinane estate at the time when the project was initially launched, Mr. M.I. Izzadeen and the current Deputy General Manager of the up-country cluster Mr. Ranga Gunasekera and Manager of Dunsinane estate Mr. Asela Udumulla ensured the correct selection of sites, beneficiaries while assisting the respective officials of the Ministry in Hill Country New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development and the Plantation Human Trust to facilitate the implementing Agency – UN-HABITAT to complete the task successfully.

Coinciding this event, another first ever mega project to provide safe and pure drinking water, and sanitation facilities at cost of Rs. 74 million, funded by the World Bank was ceremonially declared opened at Dunsinane estate by the Hon. Prime Minister and the distinguished guests. This project is the first of its kind implemented on an estate owned by a Regional Plantation Company and would benefit a population of over 6,000.

The opening ceremony was held with the presence of His Excellency Taranjit Singh Sandhu, High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka and Hon. Naveen Dissanayake, Minister of Plantation Industries,  Hon. Palani Digambaram, Minister of Hill Country New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development, Hon. Gayantha Karunathilaka, Minister of Lands and Parliamentary Reforms, Hon. Rauf Hakeem, Minister of City Planning and Water Planning, and other distinguished dignitaries felicitated this ceremonial event.

Elpitiya Plantations wishes to greatly acknowledge the kind gesture of the Government of India for implementing a housing project of such magnitude and for selecting Dunsinane estate to launch this Pilot Project to construct 383 housing units. A special note of appreciation to the key role played by Hon. Palani Digambaram, Minister of Hill Country New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development, respective Ministry officials and officials of Plantation Human Development Trust and the implementing Agency – UN-HABITAT and other Government Institutions for initiating the above projects.

Elpitiya Plantations PLC is a public liability company and is one of Sri Lanka’s leading producers of exquisite high quality premium teas. The Company is managed by the Aitken Spence since 1997. Elpitiya Plantations comprises of 13 estates located in up, mid and low country regions, which cover more than 8,800 hectares. While the core business is focused on cultivation and manufacturing of tea, rubber, oil palm, coconut and cinnamon, the Company has diversified into sustainable forestry development, eco-tourism, hydropower development, and specialty teas.

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Aitken Spence Travels the only DMC to be awarded Gold from PATA

30 Jul

Sri Lanka’s largest Destination Management Company, Aitken Spence Travels will be presented the prestigious Gold Award at the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Awards 2014 ceremony, taking place on 19th of September, at the Diamond Island City Hall in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh for its “Elpitiya Plantations Excursions” in the Environment – Ecotourism Project category. Identified from amongst 181 entries from 66 organizations and individuals worldwide, Aitken Spence Travels has been recognized for its concept on tourism innovation and excellence.
PATA is a not-for profit association that is internationally acclaimed for acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region. The PATA Awards are presented to outstanding entries in four principal categories: Marketing; Education and Training; Environment; and Heritage and Culture.

“We are pleased to be the recipient of this prestigious award as the only Destination Management Company in Sri Lanka for the 2014 PATA awards.  Aitken Spence Travels is always thinking innovatively while placing importance on sustaining the environment that we operate in. Having developed this culture of differentiating ourselves, this award will inspire us to continue our efforts and fulfill the traveler’s needs” noted Mr. Nalin Jayasundera, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Travels.

The award applauds Aitken Spence Travels for successfully transforming the inconspicuous Elpitiya town – that has originated as a result of plantation industry, to an experiential tourism destination. With emphasis on eco-friendly and sustainable practices, ‘Elpitiya Plantations Excursion’ is designed to offer the traveler a memorable experience with its incorporation of activities involving local culture and environment. A trek through the rubber and tea plantation with various native practices such as ‘tapping the rubber tree’ and ‘plucking tea’ contributes to the authentic experience and affirms why the outing is distinctive.

The excursion benefits all segments of stakeholders involved, especially the local community, as a result of healthy interactions between the traveler and the locals. Enriching their livelihood, building strong bonds through cultural exchange of practices has allowed Aitken Spence Travels to place Elpitiya on the map for eco-tourism.

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With a significant presence in Maldives and fully diversified in to every aspect of tourism, Aitken Spence Travels is the leader in destination management in Sri Lanka. Partnered with the world’s largest name in travel, TUI Travel Plc, and with over third decade of experience, the company is backed by a reputation of being the most professional in the business. With the commitment towards offering sustainable tourism, Aitken Spence Travels is endowed the Carbon Neutral status by the Sri Lanka Carbon Fund and maintains ISO 9001:2008 and 14001:2004 certifications.

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