Running Condition

Sri Lanka’s railway is badly in need of a lifeline, a big fat one in that, instead for years now its has been thrown a thread to hang on to. Sri Lanka’s railway is badly in need of a lifeline, a big fat one in that, instead for years now its has been thrown a thread to hang on to. General Manager Railways (GMR), Priyal de Silva says higher fuel bill, a lack of capital investments to expand and improve its service and restrictions on increasing its fares are taking toll on the Railway Authority.

De Silva says the government has to make a firm commitment to invest and develop the railways, if the mass transport network is to continue to ferry passengers at a satisfactory rate.

Transport Ministry officials told Lanka Business Online in an earlier interview that the government would step in to balance the Railway Department’s books this year and increase funds for railway operations next year.

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 billion in capital expenditure for 2005 compared to the Rs 1.5 billion t