- Consignment comes as part of financial assistance provided by EXIM Bank – India
The first consignment of 10 coaches out of 160 stainless steel passenger coaches supplied by RITES Ltd. to Sri Lanka Railways has been delivered, the Indian High Commission said yesterday.
The shipment arrived in Colombo on Tuesday as part of financial assistance offered by the Government of India for the development of railway infrastructure in Sri Lanka through the EXIM Bank of India. An agreement governing this was signed between RITES and Sri Lanka Railways in September 2019.
These passenger coaches have been custom made and built as per the requirements of Sri Lanka Railways. They have been equipped with the latest technological features, including stainless steel shells with polyurethane exterior painting and anti-graffiti coating and special anti-corrosive paint to guard against harsh coastal environmental conditions.
They also have aesthetically pleasing, superior interiors with glass partitions, soundproof rubber flooring, aluminium extruded luggage racks with glass bottom etc. LED lighting has been provided in all coaches. GPS-based passenger information system and an audio-visual infotainment system are also available in these coaches.
The state-of-the-art passenger coaches are being manufactured at the Integral Coach Factory – Chennai, a premier production unit of the Indian Railways. They resemble the 78 state-of-the-art diesel multiple unit trainset coaches which are currently operational in Sri Lanka Railways. These coaches were supplied in 2018-19.
The first lot of 10 passenger coaches has been manufactured and supplied successfully, overcoming serious disruptions in the supply lines caused by frequent shutdowns and movement restrictions due to COVID-19. The remaining quantity will be delivered in the coming months.
India’s overall development assistance to Sri Lanka stands at close to $ 3.5 billion. Development of railway infrastructure in Sri Lanka is a focus area in development partnership between the two countries and several types of development work, such as reconstruction of railway lines (268 kms), installation of signal and telecommunication systems (330 kms) and the upgrading of the coastal railway line (118 kms) have already been completed. Various other projects are at various stages of implementation.