JICA to fund feasibility study and two corridors out of seven

Published : 9:26 am  March 30, 2017 | No comments so far |  | 


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By Yoshitha Perera   
The feasibility study for the Light Rail Transit (LRT) project will commence in the coming weeks, the Megapolis and Western Development Ministry said yesterday.   

Recently, the Cabinet approved the establishment of a Project Management Unit to implement a Light Rail Transit (LRT) project from Colombo Fort to other suburbs in the Colombo District area.  

Speaking to the Daily Mirror Additional Secretary of the Ministry, Madhawa Waidyaratna said the main reason for the selection of LRT over monorail was its relative simplicity and easy accessibility.   

“Light rail can run on all possible types of alignments such as elevated, at-grade, underground depending on the particular situation in the given area, while monorail is limited to elevated lines only,” he said.  

He said that initial studies completed by the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) and the Transport Department of Moratuwa University, had identified seven railway corridors that could be established with the LRT system.   

 According to the proposed Rapid Transit System, the lines will spread through suburbs such as Battaramulla, Kottawa, Malabe, Kaduwela and Kadawatha starting from Colombo Fort. Waidyaratna said that JICA would not only fund the feasibility study but also construct two corridors.   

According to the Megapolis Transport Master Plan Report, the proposal by JICA for monorail can be justified with two lines that had been considered from Malabe to Colombo Fort and towards Mattakkuliya.  Since both of these lines will have to be elevated, however when considering a network evolving to the suburbs that can have ground operation, the LRT was a better choice.   

Simultaneously, the Ministry has decided to submit another cabinet paper to call out potential Private Investors to carry the feasibility studies and construction of the remaining lines under a Public Private Partnership (PPP), Waidyaratna said.    “We would select EOI – Expression of Interest, for people who will implement these five lines based on PPP and we will select them within the next few weeks,” he said.   
The LRT lines that were identified are listed below –