500 new engines to upgrade SLTB fleet

Published : 9:16 am  March 30, 2017 | No comments so far |  |  (205) reads | 

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By Darshana Sanjeewa  
Even though the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) owned close to 7,700 buses only 6,000 were in a suitable condition to be used for public transport, Civil Aviation and Transport Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said yesterday.  

 
“To provide a better transport service to the public we need at least 10,000 buses,” he said.   


At a ceremony held at the Udahamulla Depot where some 500 engines were handed over, the minister said several programmes had been initiated by the SLTB to increase the fleet of road-worthy buses and that the engines would be used to repair the buses that were put aside.    


“We also expect to purchase 1,000 new buses in the next few months and hoping to begin a luxury metro bus service in Colombo and the suburb,” he said and added that the Cabinet approved a request to obtain financial assistance from the Indian concessionary lone scheme for this project.   


The minister said the SLTB has to overcome a formidable challenge with the presence of private buses operating countrywide. “There are nearly 20,000 private buses on the roads. The SLTB needs to introduce new technology and strengthen its    infrastructure and human resources,” he said.  


SLTB Chairman Ramal Siriwardane was also present at the ceremony to hand over the new engines.