Decisions under Sri Lanka’s Megapolis are ad-hoc: Prof Kumarage

Apr 08, 2016 (LBO) – Decisions and actions under Sri Lanka’s Megapolis have been ad-hoc and have not received sufficient debate and evaluation, a transport sector expert charged.

Professor Amal Kumarage, a senior professor at Moratuwa University, speaking at a Verité Research seminar said the Megapolis initiative is based on unsustainable high-cost and long-term solutions.

Kumarage addressed the gathering on the topic “Economics of shooting without aiming: The case of transport in the Megapolis.”

The presentation was based on a comparison of Colombo transport master plans from research conducted by the University of Moratuwa.

According to Professor Kumarage’s analysis, the Megapolis initiative is based on unsustainable high-cost long-term solutions that focus too much on building highways and too little on means and infrastructure for public transport.

In contrast, the University of Moratuwa study gave priority to improving bus and rail systems based off of the existing infrastructure, as well as improving transport demand management and road infrastructure.

One of the key points addressed in the discussion was the lack of public information and adequate professional evaluation.

A key weakness highlighted during the presentation was the process by which the Megapolis initiative is going forward.

The discussion suggested that projects were being actioned even before the plan has been strategized and evaluated and further, there was a failure to adopt an integrated approach to public transport.

Professor Kumarage was responsible for the development of the Transportation Engineering Division of the University of Moratuwa.