Cabinet has approved plans to seek funding for a fresh road from China EXIM Bank and obtain proposals from a Chinese company already working on a road project in Sri Lanka.
Under a proposal made by Higher Education and Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella to examine the possibility of obtaining loan facilities for the construction of the road section from Kadawatha to Kossinna (0+500km-4+540km) from EXIM Bank of China and for obtaining proposals from Metallurgical Corporation of China, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
The same Chinese company was given phase three of the Outer Circular Highway (OCH) covering 9.32 kilometres from Kerawalapitiya to Kadawatha meant to divert traffic away from the city centre.
The contract was awarded to Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC) at a cost of 66.7 billion rupees in 2013 but came into dispute as the costliest highway contract handed out by the previous Government.
The Government of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe renegotiated the scope of the project to reduce the cost by Rs.29.3billion and use the funds to build additional roads, Government officials had told reporters earlier.
In addition Cabinet gave approval to use the balance of money of Rs.2 billion from the balance funds of the project to construct the southern section from Pinnaduwa to Godagama funded by the EXIM Bank of China.
The Southern Transport Development Project will also be established.
The proposal made by Lakshman Kiriella, Minister of Higher Education and Highways, to improve access roads to the expressway and bridges and to purchase special vehicles required for operations in expressway using the said balance funds, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.