Railways to be developed with USD 611.5mn

Published : 9:12 am  May 14, 2018 | No comments so far |  |  (72) reads | 

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By Darshana Sanjeewa   

Civil Aviation and Transport Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said the ministry had started to set up a Railway Development Plan aiming for the next 20 years at a cost of USD 611.5 million considering the increase of train commuters.   

 Speaking at a meeting held at the ministry auditorium to launch the Railway Department main plan, the minister said around 300,000 passengers are daily arriving and leaving from Colombo by trains and according to the statistics, the number could be increased up to 1.2 million by the year of 2025.   


“Large number of passengers are using the railway service because of traffic congestion on roads and also because passengers can travel at low cost in trains than by roads and by buses. We should provide the service on par with the passenger requirement. The railway lines should also be developed. New signal systems and communication systems need to be introduced. Modern techniques should also be introduced when booking seats and issuing tickets for commuters”, he said.   


Minister said all those requirement could be fulfilled by 2025 from the proposed new railway development plan.   


To implement the proposed programme, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will grant USD 1.5 million aid to prepare the development plan. And also a loan of USD 10 million would be provided for the feasibility study while USD 600 million loan will be given for the construction and railway lines development, the minister said.   


Under the programme, expeditious development will be carried out on the Colombo-Rambukkana, Colombo-Kalutara, Colombo-Avissawella, and Ragama-Negombo 
railway lines.   


The development of Kadugannawa-Matale, Rambukkana-Kadugannawa, Peradeniya, Gampola railway lines and service efficiency at railway stations in Colombo and its suburbs would also be enhanced.   


Secretary of the Ministry G.S. Vithanage, Project Director Palitha Samarasinghe and local and foreign officials participated at the meeting.