LRT cancellation gets Cabinet backing

Thursday, 1 October 2020 00:15 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Cabinet Co-Spokesman says fresh alternatives will be presented to resolve congestion

Cabinet Co-Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella - Pic by Ruwan Walpola

Cabinet yesterday decided to back the Government’s decision to cancel the $ 2.2 billion Japanese-funded Light Railway Transit (LRT) project, insisting that it would cause significant environmental damage and would not reduce congestion to needed levels. 

Cabinet Co-Spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella argued that an evaluation of the project had found that it would cause costly relocation and severe environmental damage if the LRT was to be built on pillars. 

“An evaluation of the LRT in its current format has found that it is very expensive, in fact it is more expensive than any other investment project signed by Sri Lanka. Therefore we have to ensure that it brings the best returns.  A large number of buildings will have to be destroyed, including many houses and businesses, which is not practical,” he said. 

Rambukwella said the Government was studying the issue of reducing congestion within Colombo, and would present fresh proposals to resolve the problems over the next few months. He however declined to mention what kind of options would be explored by policymakers.