Dead End?

From left: Dr. Fernando Im, Senior Country Economist for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, The World Bank, Hon. Eran Wickramaratne, State Minister, Ministry of Finance and Mass Media, Dr. W A Wijewardana, Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Prof. Indralal de Silva, Former (Chair) of Demography, University of Colombo, Prof. Amala de Silva, Department of Economics, University of Colombo at the panel discussion on "Demographic Change in Sri Lanka" moderated by Dr. Ramani Gunatilaka, International Centre for Ethnic Studies.

Its back to the drawing board for the Colombo Katunayake highway project, facing its latest setback with the imminent pull out of only contender Road Builder Holdings.
Last October, Malaysian owned Road Builder Holdings were sole contenders to complete, manage and operate the four lane, 25 km airport highway.rn

rnThe biggest snag officials say has been investor reluctance to pay a Rs. 3.5 bn upfront cost, the government has already invested into the project.rn

rnProject officials say that 30 percent of the highway has already been completed when it was begun as a Build Own and Transfer (BOT) project over two years ago.rn

rnA 36-month construction plan was drawn up with Korean based Keagnam Construction Company taking over operations for a year before the government decided to hand the reigns over to the private sector. rn

rnUnder the terms and conditions, any new investor would also have to retain construction company Keagnam.rn

rnldblquote An option would be to go for a re-tender, but this t