On Track

Feb 16, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka inaugurated a rail track on the south coast upgraded with Indian aid to enable train speeds of up to 100 kilometres an hour, reducing travel time, Wednesday, a statement said. The Galle-Matara track of 42 kilometres has been up-graded by India’s state-owned IRCON to world standards, the Indian high commission said.

The project is the first phase of the overall coastal rail project between the capital Colombo and Matara being done with an Indian government loan of 167.40 million US dollars to rebuild areas affected by a tsunami.

“The work on phase-II of the project from Galle to Kalutara (just south of Colombo) has already commenced and would be completed early next year,” the statement said.

IRCON is also doing several other rail projects as part of the government of India’s rehabilitation and reconstruction support in the north of the island.

India has offered a credit line of 800 million dollars for reconstruction of the railway system in the north after the island’s 30-year ethnic war ended in 2009.