Home / / JVP alleges corruption in $ 278 m Matara-Beliatta railway track

JVP alleges corruption in $ 278 m Matara-Beliatta railway track

Comments / 1534 Views / Thursday, 10 July 2014 00:40

By Ashwin Hemmathagama Our Lobby Correspondent Opposition Lawmaker Anura Kumara Dissanayake yesterday exposed the violation of tender procedures to award the $278 million worth railway line constructed between Matara and Beliatta. Charging the Government for skipping the tenders and obtaining a loan at commercial interest rates from the EXIM Bank of China to fund the project, MP Dissanayake said: “You have not entered into an agreement with the Government of China; it is an agreement between the Government of Sri Lanka and a Chinese company. $ 10 million is spent per kilometre. Do we have to spend this much of money to construct one kilometre of the railway line? It is fortunate that you don’t have to construct a track connecting both ends of the island, mortgaging the nation.” In response, Deputy Minister of Transport Rohan Dissanayake stated that Government had to take advantage of numerous agreements signed with other nations on certain cases and this happened to be another example. “Tender procedures were not followed to award this project to the China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation. A Cabinet-Appointed Negotiation Committee and a Technical Evaluation Committee assisted the Government to obtain the loan from the China EXIM bank. The proposed speed for the new line will be 120kmph. We had to establish four new stations at Kakunadura, Bambaranda, Wawurukannala and Beliatta in addition to the two small stations at Pitaduwa and Veherahena between Matara and Beliatta. There are seven bridges over 570 feet, all newly-constructed. In some areas the railway line is built on towers taking the regular floods into consideration,” said the Deputy Minister.

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