Basil inspects Katunayake Expressway to be opened in August

Tuesday, 19 March 2013 00:51 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Arrangements are being made to open the 26 kilometre-long Katunayake-Kelaniya Expressway in August, built at a cost of US$ 291 million.  The Ports and Highways Ministry commenced the construction of the expressway in 2009 under the direction of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.


Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, who inspected the expressway recently, instructed the relevant officials to plant trees native to Sri Lanka on either side of the road after conserving the marshy lands on either side of the expressway and cleaning the Dutch Canal. Speaking at the occasion, Minister Basil Rajapaksa said that the true benefits of the Southern and Colombo-Katunayake Expressways can be reaped only after the completion of the Northern Expressway, on which the initial work has already begun. Plans have been drawn up to construct the Northern Expressway in three stages – the first from Enderamulla to Ambepussa, the second from Meerigama to Pellandeniya and the third from Ambepussa to Kandy. Participating in a discussion at the Parliamentary complex on the construction of this expressway, Minister Basil Rajapaksa said the planning has to be done causing the least possible harm to human settlements and the natural environment. The technical report on the expressway construction, the environmental report, surveying the area, geological aspects and the resettlement of people who will be displaced as a result of land acquisition for the purpose are now being studied since the project is expected to meet needs that would arise by 2030.      

Minister of Social Services Felix Perera, Highways Project Minister Nirmala Kotalawala, Deputy Minister of Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities Lasantha Alagiyawanna, MP Sudarshani Fernandopulle, Western Provincial Council Minister Nimal Lansa and Ports and Highways Ministry Secretary Ranjith Premasiri were among those who attended the discussions.