PM forges ahead on infrastructure projects

Monday, 24 February 2020 11:57 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Seeks $ 200 m from AIIB for 624 low income housing projects
  • Cabinet approval given to look for financing for large tracts of existing and new highways
  • Cabinet also green lights 23 bridges to be built as priority

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa last week presented several Cabinet papers on infrastructure development projects including seeking $ 200 million to build 624 housing units, procure funding for large stretches of new and existing highways and building 23 bridges to reduce congestion.   

Rajapaksa sought Cabinet permission to award a contract to Maga Engineering Ltd. for the construction of 624 housing projects at Colombage Mawatha, Kirulapone for low income people based on the recommendations of the Standing Procurement Committee (SPC).  According to the Cabinet paper $ 200 million is being negotiated with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) for the project.

Another Cabinet paper outlined plans for construction of a highway network covering the whole island in three stages. The paper proposes expediting work on the Central, Eastern and Ratnapura expressways. The Ratnapura expressway is to be built in three stages from Kahathuduwa and terminating in Pelmadulla.

The Cabinet granted approval for the Ministry of Roads and Highways, which is a key portfolio held by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to search for funding for the Central expressway project and to obtain a proposal for Phase 1 of the Ratnapura expressway from the Chinese conglomerate M/s CNTIC. The Cabinet also approved calling statements of consent on competitive basis for construction of the Phase II of the same project and to conduct feasibility studies for the Eastern expressway project.

A third Cabinet paper submitted by Rajapaksa sought approval to implement another project which will see 23 bridges being built as a matter of priority to minimise traffic congestion, reduce accidents and vehicle usage costs. M/S Ellipse Projects SAS of France had submitted a proposal which received Cabinet approval. A discussion committee appointed by the Minister for evaluation of the proposal was also given Cabinet approval.