Light Rail Transit Project kicks off

Published : 12:03 am  July 17, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 

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By Sandun A. Jayasekara   

The Cabinet recently approved the construction of 16 stations and a 17km-long depot to commence the construction of the Light Rail Transit Project. 


Accordingly, seven lines are to be constructed connecting Colombo and its suburbs with the Multi Model Transport Hub (MMTH) in Pettah. Of them, the lines linking Colombo Fort with other major cities and the line extended to Battaramulla and Malabe have been identified as priority lanes.   


Due to high congestion in these areas, the government has requested for financial assistance from Japan to construct these lines as two elevated Light Railway Transit Lines. 


Speaking to journalists earlier, Megapolis and Western Development Minister Champika Ranawaka said seven corridors would be constructed for light train transport and that its objective was to ease congestion on highways leading to Colombo. 


“The Megapolis and Western Development Ministry is already in the process of drawing a blueprint to construct a Light Railway System (LRS) from Malabe along an elevated rail track on a 16km stretch that would control traffic snarls. The time saved from current one and a half hours to thirty minutes to reach Colombo Fort or Pettah from Malabe and vice versa will be a blessing,” he said.  

 

  • The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will fully fund this project at US$ 1.7 billion and the feasibility report on the Light Rail Transit (LRT) was handed over to Minister Ranawaka by country head of JICA, Fusato Tanaka. The soft loan is repayable in 40 years with a grace period of 12 years


The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will fully fund this project at US$ 1.7 billion and the feasibility report on the Light Rail Transit (LRT) was handed over to Minister Ranawaka by country head of JICA, Fusato Tanaka. The soft loan is repayable in 40 years with a grace period of 12 years. 


“Due to severe traffic congestion in the Colombo metropolitan area, the number of traffic modes utilising the road network, the improvement of current public transportation, systems have become urgently necessary. The JICA – LRT consolidate plans to procure Japanese rolling stock, electric trains which will be the first experience in the nearly 152-decade history of Sri Lanka Railways. The trains will have latest technology and ample space for commuters, schoolchildren and tourists. The LRT will also be completed with 16 environment-friendly stations (mostly a station at every kilometre), universal design, sustainable and easy for management and good connectivity for multi-modal transfers. The LRT will also introduce the self-serve ticketing system (automated fare collection) with ticketing office and ticketing gate to Sri Lanka for the first time. The station will be comprised with airconditioned tea kiosk, coffee shops and toilets. An elevated structure, parallel to the existing highway, will minimize and avoid impacts on both environmental and social issues such as construction impacts, vibrations, noises, land acquisitions and livelihood impacts,” he said. 


CITY-DM-4-6The total length is nearly 16 kilometres with 16 stations located between Fort and the IIT Park in Malabe. 


“The JICA – LRT has strong connections with other transport modes at the East end and West end and middle of the route that joins the Fort transport centre with Borella, Kota  Road and Malabe. This is the area that has current transport demand in the city along with areas around Sethsiripaya and Battaramulla. Our target is to ease heavy traffic congestion in this area as the issue has developed into a major problem,” LRTP Project Director Chaminda Ariyadasa said.   

 

The Megapolis and Western Development Ministry is already in the process of drawing a blueprint to construct a Light Railway System (LRS) from Malabe along an elevated rail track on a 16km stretch that would control traffic snarls

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