Sri Lanka has decided to take up with the Japanese Government the inordinate delay in the completion of the expansion and modernisation of the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) by the Japanese company.
This decision was arrived at after a high-level review of the progress of Project B of the BIA expansion on Friday.
Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga instructed Ministry Secretary S. Hettiarachchi to make the necessary representations in this connection to the Japanese Ambassador in Sri Lanka Sugiyama Akira.
The BIA expansion project was agreed upon in 2014 via a Japanese loan worth Rs. 74 billion and a Rs. 21.6 billion investment by the Sri Lankan Government.
The Rs. 6 billion Project B of the expansion commenced in April 2017 and was scheduled for completion in October 2019. Due to various issues, the completion was delayed and was to be finally completed in February. A recent request for further extension by the Japanese contractor was rejected by Minister Ranatunga.
He said that the Government has to pay hefty interest on the Japanese loan whilst there is no income due to the delay in the completion. “We offered several extensions and the project cannot be further delayed, causing a burden on the people,” the Minister added.