Colombo Light Rail project halted : Govt explains why ?

Sunday Observer

The Sri Lanka Goverment says the Japan funded Colombo Light Rail Transit project initiated under the previous Goverment has been suspended as the project is too costly and brought low returns.

The Japanese-funded, $ 2.2 billion Colombo Light Rail Transit (LRT) project from Malabe to Colombo was to be completed in 2024.

Addressing the weekly cabinet press briefing Cabinet spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardane said that suspending the project was a decision taken by the Government of Sri Lanka and not by Japan.

He said that before 2015, the then Government had discussed a better high return project with Japan but the former Government had implemented a different project which was not suitable.

Co-Cabinet spokesman Minister Ramesh Pathirana said that the project was deemed to be too costly and brought low returns. He also said that if the project was implemented several buildings from Malabe to Rajagiriya wool need to be demolished.

The feasibility study report of the project proposed a 15.7 km-long LRT system with 16 stations from Colombo Fort to Malabe via Battaramulla, involving an elevated railway track, elevated stations and train depot, the procurement of LRT trains, and the installation of electrical, communication, and signal systems. The project was expected to reduce travel time from Colombo Fort to Malabe to approximately 30 minutes.

 

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