Home / Front Page/ Govt. to ink $ 160 m ADB loan for railways today

Govt. to ink $ 160 m ADB loan for railways today


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Tuesday, 20 August 2019 00:34


  • First ADB funding for railway sector 
  • Total project of $ 192 m to be used to modernise operations 
  • Outputs include modernising communication, ticketing system and new headquarters 
  • Kelani Valley line to be upgraded, electrified

     

By P. D. de Silva 

The Government will sign a $ 160 million loan agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) today to improve efficiency of the local railway by modernising its operations as well as upgrading its infrastructure and technical capacity in the first such funding received for the sector by the ADB.  

Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Arjuna Ranatunga speaking to media at Temple Trees said improving railway efficiency could attract more commuters. It was revealed that in 2017 the railway carried 136.7 million passengers and two million tonnes of goods by operating an average of 351 passenger trains and 19 freight trains daily.

The total cost of the project is $ 192 million, with the Government of Sri Lanka providing $ 32 million. The expected project completion date is the end of 2024. 

Project Director Palitha Samarasinghe explained that under the Railway Efficiency Improvement project the operational efficiency, maintenance capacity, safety management, skills development and implementation capacity of Sri Lanka Railways (SLR) would be addressed.

The main outputs financed by the project include procuring an island-wide, long-term evolution (LTE/4G) equipment to replace the telecommunications system installed in 1985, installing a modern multi-channel (paper, mobile, and smart card) system to replace the cumbersome ticketing system, which requires tickets to be printed on custom-made paper for over 60,000 ticket combinations and constructing a modern operations headquarters and train control centre to replace the current headquarters that cannot accommodate all operation departments of SLR, and the outdated control centre opened in 1962 to monitor railway operations in the Western Province.

In addition it will also strengthen maintenance capacity, a brake testing and repair facility and a carriage repair workshop will be established at the main maintenance workshop of SLR at Ratmalana.

The financing will also focus on railway safety by supporting civil works for the construction of housing blocks to enable the future resettlement of encroachers on the right-of- way of the Kelani Valley (KV) line, upgrade the old railway underpass in Maradana, upgrade traffic and pedestrian safety support improvements of passenger safety and information system at Colombo Fort and Maradana stations.

The Sri Lanka German Technical Training Centre (SLGRTTC) will be upgraded with a new training wing, a train simulator and equipment packages to support the modernisation of four curricula and the development of over six new curricula.

Under the loan scheme the KV line extending from Maradana to Avissawella (60 km in length and a daily passenger volume of 14,600) will be improved. At present the average speed of train operated on the KV line is approximately 26 km/h. At times there are long delays due to failures in the signal system, frequent failure of telecommunication systems and poor condition of the track.

As the KV line is parallel to the High Level Road and the capacity of High Level Road has been exceeded and widening of the High Level Road is not possible, the Government has decided to improve the KV railway line to cater to the ever increasing travel demand.

The Kelani Valley Railway Improvement Program will finance the rehabilitation, capacity upgrade, modernisation, and electrification of the KV line between Maradana and Padukka station and includes an elevated section of 20 km from Maradana to Malapalla, and 16 km at-grade from Malapalla to Padukka, excluding Meegoda, Watareka and Padukka station areas. 

Total Estimated Project Cost of Development of the KV line from Maradana to Avissawella (65 km) including 21 Electric Multiple Units, utility shifting cost, resettlement cost and environmental effects mitigation cost is $ 1.2 million. 

 

UNP in no hurry to appoint Presidential candidate: Arjuna


Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


DISCLAIMER:

1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.

COMMENTS

Today's Columnists

Victory over the oppressed

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

The Presidential Election is over and the new President has taken his oaths. Although there were opinions expressed that there can be a second count of preference votes of the candidates other than the first and second, it was an easy victory for Got


The mantra of attracting high-end tourists

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

“Easier said than done!” is what many veterans of the tourism industry say whenever the subject of enticing high spenders to Sri Lanka is debated. That being so, some boutique brands have fetched high prices in the past though the current situati


Adopt high-impact interventions to secure future of antibiotics and rollback the global AMR crisis

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global crisis that threatens the future of our most precious drugs: antibiotics. Across the world, AMR kills an estimated 700,000 people annually, including 230,000 from multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. By 2050,


A child’s guide to MCC Compact Sri Lanka

Monday, 18 November 2019

Intelligent children, unlike some of the adults, are curious, probing and questioning. They do not jump to conclusions until and unless they are convinced of facts that have been presented to them. Asani, a student in the Advanced Level class in a le


Columnists More