Gampaha District Railway Stations modernisation begins

Thursday, 27 February 2014 01:23 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Economic Development Ministry has launched a program to renovate all railway stations in the Gampaha District to make them attractive to the thousands of people including tourists who use these stations daily. The modernization will meet the requirements of commuters and make the stations attractive to the public. The first stage of the program covering the Meerigama, Gampaha ,Weyangoda and Ragama stations commenced at the respective stations with the participation of Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa recently. The planning of this work began early last year. Since these stations with no proper facilities are in a dilapidated condition, the Minister instructed the relevant officers to focus on the difficulties commuters face daily and improve the stations on modern lines so that high standards would be maintained for a long period.  The objective is to ensure that the clergy, the disabled, the old and the infirm and tourists will be provided with the facilities they require without any difficulty. Under the programme the rest rooms, ticket counters, stairways and platforms at these stations will be modernized and steps would be taken to maintain a healthy environment.  The Transport Ministry, the Railway Department, the Provincial Road Development Authority (PRDA) and a number of other institutions will assist in this project. Among the other stations to be improved are Ja-ela, Seeduwa, Katunayake(BOI), Negombo, Bemmulla, Veyangoda and Ambepussa. Sri Lanka Railways which began in 1864 has today extended to an area of 1500 square kilometres.  In the early period trains transported only goods but today they transport both goods and passengers. Today the number of those who commute daily by train is around 300,000.   For this purpose a total of 310 trains are deployed including 45 long distance trains and 12 intercity trains.  At present there are 172 railway stations and 161 sub stations island-wide. Among the large crowd which participated in the inaugural ceremony of the first stage were Deputy Minister Pandu Bandaranayake, Parliamentarian Wasantha Senanayake and Provincial Road Development Authority(PRDA) General Manager R.M.S. Bandaranayake.