Ministry of Internal Transport reviews JICA transport infrastructure project

Published : 10:05 am  April 23, 2015 | No comments so far |  | 


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By Darshana Sanjeewa
The review of the transport master plan for the Colombo metropolis has been presented to the government and other major stakeholders for implementation, the Ministry of Internal Transport said yesterday.
The ministry said the Department of Transport and Logistics of the Moratuwa University had studied the programme.
A JICA project, a master plan that included a monorail was to combat increasing traffic in the urban areas. However, last month the Minister of Internal transport Ranjith Madduma Bandara said the USD 1.3 billion project might be scrapped as it was “too expensive”.
However, the ministry said it was now re-examining the project together with its implementing agencies.

It transpired that monorails comprise new technology that is being considered together with Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems and electrified railways. In addition, modernisation of bus and rail transport are also considered as priority actions. In most corridors, the BRT and railway improvements are found to be cost effective given the high cost of monorail construction and operation.
The ministry was also of the view that along corridors or areas where road space is not available for improving bus operations or land is not available for the laying of new electrified railway track, it might become necessary to consider the monorail option in spite of its high cost.
The rail road would begin from Malabe and wend through Talahena, Robert Gunawardena Mawatha, the National Hospital, Union Place, the World Trade Centre, Colombo Fort and reach Kotahena.
In an analysis, the JICA 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.