Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)

Ke­lani Val­ley rail to be dou­ble-tracked

- BY KELUM BANDARA Asian Development Bank · Homagama · Avissawella

More than 1,000 fam­i­lies squat­ting rail­way lands along the Colombo-Avis­sawella rail­way tracks will be re­lo­cated with bet­ter hous­ing fa­cil­i­ties as part of the gov­ern­ment’s plan to mod­ernise the rail line, Trans­port Min­is­ter Gamini Lokuge said.

Min­is­ter Lokuge told the Daily Mir­ror that the rail­way line, com­monly called the Ke­lani Val­ley line, would be dou­ble-tracked as a so­lu­tion to the traf­fic con­ges­tion.

He said the curves of the ex­ist­ing line would be flat­tened ac­cord­ing to the fea­si­bil­ity study done in this re­gard.

“We will carry out the track mod­i­fi­ca­tion in two stages. The stretch from Colombo to Ho­magama will be de­vel­oped un­der the ini­tial phase. Af­ter­wards, we will be­gin work on the next step up to Avis­sawella. Later, we are plan­ning to re­build the track up to Rat­na­pura,” he said.

It will be a project fi­nanced by Asian De­vel­op­ment Bank (ADB). The line was first built from Colombo to Yatiyan­tota via Avis­sawella dur­ing 1900-1902 un­der the Bri­tish colo­nial gov­ern­ment.

It was ex­tended up to Rat­na­pura from Avis­sawella dur­ing the rule of Bri­tish Gov­er­nor Sir Henry Mc­cal­lum (1907-1913). In 1912, the rail­way line was con­nected from Rat­na­pura town to Opanayaka. The line was con­structed to trans­port agri­cul­ture prod­ucts from these ar­eas.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Sri Lanka