Monorail Project might die

Published : 9:55 am  April 2, 2015 | No comments so far |  |  (3565) reads | 

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By Darshana Sanjeewa

The monorail project which involved the construction of a railway between Colombo and Malabe is most likely to be cancelled, Minister of Internal Transport Ranjith Madduma Bandara said  yesterday.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) project, which was planned as a measure to combat increasing traffic in Colombo’s urban area was scheduled to begin this year.

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Madduma Bandara said the project was “too expensive” and that the ministry was considering the construction of an electric train service instead. Previous reports stated that USD 55-57 million was the estimated expense of a kilometre of the monorail project.
The projected rail road would wend its way from Malabe, through Talahena, Robert Gunawardena Mawatha, the National Hospital, Union Place, the World Trade Centre, Colombo Fort to reach Kotahena.

When asked if the monorail project would be suspended, the minister said a decision in this regard was yet to be taken. However, Madduma Bandara reiterated that the project was too expensive.  The USD 1.3 billion project that was a part of the long- term Urban Transport Metro Master Plan was a collaboration with the JAICA with Prof. Amal Kumarage of the Department of Transport and Logistics at the  Moratuwa University playing an important role.

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In an analysis, the Japanese organisation said that low levels of public transport, an insufficient road network and the increasing number of vehicles were the main cause of rising traffic congestion in the city of Colombo.