May 10, 2007 (LBO) – A senior Sri Lankan government official has suggested doubling fuel prices and scrapping free cars and fuel for government servants to solve the island’s transport problem. Road Development Authority (RDA) chairman M.B.S. Fernando also made the startling suggestion that he prefers keeping roads in their present dilapidated state.
Improving the roads would only encourage speeding, creating more “death traps” which kill more people each year than the ethnic war.
“The problem is that the road space is uneconomically used,” Fernando said. “We don’t transport people we move vehicles.”
The average occupancy of cars was only 1.3 people.
“So all this road space is being used for the benefit of only a few individuals,” Fernando told a news conference held to announce a construction industry exhibition partly sponsored by the RDA.
Trains and buses can transport more people, more economically, but those who could afford it went by car and shunned public transport as it was over-crowded and badly run.
Fernando said he advocates raising the price of petrol by 100 rupees, from the present 104 rupees a litre, to discourage use of