Cabinet approves decision to terminate Japan- funded light rail transit project

The Cabinet of Ministers has approved the decision to terminate the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-funded light rail transit (LRT) project taking into consideration the submissions made by the Ministers of Transport as the Minister in charge of the project, the state information office said. Recently, the cabinet granted the approval to implement the Colombo Light Rail Transit System project in the western region of Sri Lanka with the fund of the Japan International Cooperation Agency. However, it has been observed that the project is unable to achieve the desired results due to the following reasons, the state information office said.

  • According to the basic plan of the project, it was proposed to introduce a Light Rail service with facilities to travel along the overland railway tracks as an alternative mode of transport for those who arrive in the city of Colombo for employment and other purposes by using private cars. However, the previous government had taken the basic necessary steps to change that plan and implement the proposed Light Rail Transit System on a railway track built on towers that could cause severe environmental damage.
  • It has been found that if the project is implemented, a large number of buildings including houses and business premises will have to be demolished and the cost of constructing the railway track on towers will be immense.
  • It has been observed that it is unable to provide the required facilities by the train which was expected to implement under the proposed Light Rail Transit System as an alternative mode of transport to attract people those who arrive in the city of Colombo for employment and other purposes by using their private cars.
  • Moreover, It has been found that if the proposed Light Rail Transit System has been implemented, it will incur a heavy operating cost. As per, the Cabinet of Ministers has decided to cancel the Light Rail Transit System Project.
 

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