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Preliminary work on land acquisition underway

Kurunegala, Habarana Railway Track::

Preliminary work of the land acquisition for the construction of the proposed new railway line from Kurunegala to Habarana via Dambulla is now underway.

A Sri Lanka Railways Spokesman told the Daily News that the Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau (CECB) has completed the project’s feasibility study while the technical evaluation on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is also being conducted.

“This project expects to provide convenient transportation for people in the Eastern and North Central Provinces and to achieve provincial development aims by connecting the Dambulla Economic Centre with the railway network,” he said.

The railway track will serve the dual purpose of passenger transport and transporting of coal, flour and fuel from the Eastern Province to other Provinces.

The spokesman said since transporting these items by roads is costly and creates adverse environmental impacts; this is the suitable option for all sectors.

“We need to increase goods transportation by trains as it is the best profitable avenue to the Sri Lanka railways,” he said. The project has aimed to minimise the traffic congestion on the Kurunegala-Dambulla road, transport agriculture harvest easily and minimise delays on the Colombo-Batticaloa/Trincomalee rail track.

The project will be implemented considering the EIA to reduce the impacts caused by the proposed road construction to the people living surrounding areas. The railway line will also be constructed avoiding the elephant corridors in Habarana and the surrounding areas.

He said the length of the proposed Kurunegala-Habarana railway line is 84 kilometres and will run across the commercial towns of Dambulla and Sigiriya in the North Central Province.