High Roads

Manjula Mathews, President of the Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka (L) and Yu Hwa Li, National Director of Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka (R) present Rakhil Fernando, Managing Director of Daraz (C) with Goodwill Ambassador Certificate

Officials say a breakthrough in discussions with the Board of Infrastructure Investment (BII) is imminent, with the deal being finalised as early next week. rn

rnWork on the highway began on a design and build basis two years ago by a Korean based construction company Keangnam, on a Treasury allocation of little over Rs. 10 bn. rn

rnA 36-month construction plan was drawn up, with the company taking over operation for a period of one year before the state handed operation and maintenance over to the private sector. rn

rnBut a cash-strapped government is trying to fast track that process, with tenders called for recently for a private sector company to finance and take over management of the highway, eventually running it as a toll road, sources said. rn

rnWhether Keangnam would continue construction on the expressway or the terms of a settlement that would have to be negotiated between the two parties, could not be confirmed. rn

rnThe highway is part of a network of expressways being developed t