Sri Lankas roads are crying out for some serious medicine, but the Highways Ministry is tending the road network with sticking plasters, since it cant afford surgery.
Sri Lanka has an extensive road network of more than 90,000 km, but most of it is also over 50 years old. rn
rnMaintenance and rehabilitation of these roads, and even new construction, have not kept up with growth in demand for transport.rn
rnAs a result, traffic exceeds the design capacity of the roads and traffic congestion is a regular frustration, even to short distance travellers.rn
rnIn 2002, the government decided to halt further deterioration by setting up a Fund for road maintenance by charging a cess on fuel.rn
rnUp until now, two years later, the Fund is yet to be legally incorporated. rn
rnMeanwhile, the Highways Ministry say the Treasury allocation for road maintenance is nowhere near enough.rn
rnldblquote This year we got Rs. 810 mn for routine maintenance and Rs. 300 mn for periodic maintenance, but we need at l