Sri Lanka goes ahead with Rail Transit System project

Sri Lanka goes ahead with Rail Transit System project

30 June 2020 02:44 pm

Sri Lanka will be going ahead with the much delayed Light Rail Transit System project continued with the foreign loan facilities of JICA and the total investment for the year 2019 was Rs. 1,624 million.

The Ministry of Urban Development, Water Supply & Housing Facilities says the light rail transit (LRT) project will proceed as planned and will be completed without any delay.

This would allow the project to proceed, as originally planned, he said adding that the ect initiated under the previous Government 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.

Secretary to the Ministry of Urban Development Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrama said the LRT project in Colombo is expected to be implemented as an investment project.

Speaking to Media regarding reports that the project has been canceled, the official said the Light Rail Transit System from Colombo to Malabe will go ahead but as a Public-Private Partnership with a foreign investor.

The previous Government had entered into agreement with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for a Japanese soft-loan for the construction work of the LRT project.

However, the current government planning to implement the project as a Public-Private Partnership has cancelled the Japanese soft-loan project, and to request proposals to fund the US$ 2.2 billion LRT project with additional investments.

Dr. Bandu Wickrama said the project had been changed with the addition of a commercial and multipurpose model to allow the investors in the Public Private Partnership to invest up to another US$ 2 billion in mixed developments and housing projects, which will bring additional revenues.

The Ministry Secretary said the land acquisition for the project is now underway and it will be at least May 2021 when it is completed, and by then an investor can be finalized so that the project can be completed without any delay.