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Megapolis calls EOI for first leg of ferry service


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  • Three lines for passenger transport earmarked by ministry, tender to close on 24 July 

 

The Megapolis Ministry yesterday called for Expressions of Interest (EOI) from interested parties to establish a ferry system along planned canals in Colombo and outlying areas on a public-private partnership (PPP) model. 

In August 2016 approval was granted to conduct inland water-based transportation through PPPs for waterways from Battaramulla to Wellawatte (IW1), Fort to Union Place across the Beira Lake (IW2), from Mattakkuliya to Hanwella along the Kelani River (IW3) and other possible waterways, the EOI document posted on the Megapolis Ministry website said.

At the time of the publication of this EOI, three potentially successful lines for passenger transportation are foreseen by the Megapolis Ministry. 

Wellawatte-Battaramulla (IW1) is considered to have the greatest potential to provide an urban transport solution. It intersects six main roads - Marine Drive, Galle Road, High level Road, Baseline Road, Nawala Road and Parliament Road - three of which are main corridors. The IW1 line has been identified under the Megapolis Plan as immediately actionable.

Fort-Union Place (IW2) has the potential to provide connectivity between the transport hub in Fort and commercial areas in Union Place. The shuttle boat service proposed for the Beira Lake will save considerable time for passengers who must utilise bus services to connect these points. Time savings will be especially high during peak time.

Mattakkuliya-Hanwella (IW3) travels along the Kelani River and has high potential to provide an alternate mode for the low level corridor where public transport is poor.

According to an announcement on Friday, the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation (SLLRDC) under the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development will initiate the tender process over the weekend for the first leg of a proposed ferry transport system in Colombo. Tenders will close on 24 July and a potential shortlist of investors is to be announced in nine weeks. 

As detailed in the 2016 megapolis transport master plan, several of Colombo’s inland waterways will be utilised for passenger ferries whereby commuters and recreational users may travel across various parts of Colombo, avoiding the traffic and enjoying the scenic views. 

The tender process - which is open to both international and local investors - is being supported by PPP advisors from the Government of the Netherlands, under a Government-to-Government technical assistance initiative. The SLLRDC under the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development will be the lead agency for the project.


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