Expensive Road

Oct 08, 2007 (LBO) – A new elevated highway connecting Colombo's Fort areas with Malabe, a fast developing suburb will cost nearly 40 billion rupees, a Malaysian firm that is charged with studying its feasibility has said. Meanwhile a senior Sri Lankan official said the priority now was to push through a light rail project for which India's NEB Rapid, a consultancy was given a letter of intent earlier this year.

The light rail would run from Colombo southwards to Panadura along the coast and inland to Battaramulla, which along the road to Malabe.

Sithru (M) Sdn Bhd and PJI Holdings Bhd, two Malaysia firms have just formed a joint venture to develop and submit a feasibility to the Sri Lanka government for the Fort Malabe highway.

Malaysia's The Star newspaper said the Sri Lanka highways minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle was in Kuala Lumpur Saturday to witness the inking of the joint venture deal.

The 17 kilometer highway would cost 350 million US dollars (39.7 billion Sri Lanka rupees) Sithru had told reporters.

The highway is expected to run "overhead as well as underground," PJI Holdings, a listed firm, said earlier in a stock exchange filing in Kuala Lumpur.

We hope to start the

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