Godfather

The State will step in to balance the Railway Department’s books this year and increase funds for railway operations next year, says the Transport Ministry. The State will step in to balance the Railway Department’s books this year and increase funds for railway operations next year, says the Transport Ministry. “The government has agreed to provide the money to cover costs this year and increase the allocation for the railway next year,” said Secretary to the Transport Ministry, D S Jayaweera.

The plan is to provide the rail with enough funds for smooth daily operations and immediate maintenance work.

To this effect the railway has been promised Rs. 4.2 bn in capital expenditure for 2005 compared to the Rs. 1.5 bn this year and another Rs. 4.9 bn in recurrent expenditure against Rs. 3.2 bn this year.

But the local rail is not expected to generate profits or break even any day soon.

“What we will look for is a better service quality from the railway. We do not expect financial returns but overall economic returns, because the road network cannot take on the pressure if rail becomes unaffordable,” explained Jayaweera in an interview with L