Sri Lanka gets Indian aid to rebuild transport infrastructure

June 11, 2010 (LBO) – India will lend about a billion dollars to help develop Sri Lanka’s transport infrastructure, rebuilding railways, a port and an airport in the war-torn north, a joint statement by the two neighbours said. India will give soft loans of about 800 million dollars for railway projects in Sri Lanka and 200 million dollars for a power project by a Indian firm including a jetty for unloading coal.

A joint declaration issued following the June 8-11 state visit of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to India said the two sides will conclude agreements on the soft loans within two months, to ensure no delay in starting the projects.

Rajapaksa had talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and India has agreed to support reconstruction in Sri Lanka’s north and east following the end of its 30-year ethnic war in May 2009.

The two countries signed contracts for the reconstruction of the northern Madu-Talaimannar railway line by IRCON International, an Indian state-owned construction firm formerly known as Indian Railway Construction Company under the Railways Ministry.

India will also support the building of a jetty in Sampur, in the north-eastern port of Trincomalee where India’s NPTC is to