Mar 07, 2011 (LBO) – The Sri Lankan state will acquire a one metre strip of land on either side of roads for utilities to avoid the need for digging up roadways, a senior official said. Pemasiri said the high cost of acquiring land has deterred the state electricity utility from going underground with most power lines running overhead. “Now we’ve started a programme to acquire at least one metre from either side of the road to be reserved for utilities,” R W R Pemasiri, director-general of the Road development Authority (RDA), said.
Land will be acquired by the RDA when widening and repairing existing roads and also when building new roads, Pemasiri said.
“We have very narrow corridor for utilities and for the road now,” he told a forum on land transport strategies held by the Chartered Institute of Transport and Logistics.
“The utilities say their problem is when laying their pipes, whether for electricity, telecommunications or water supply, there’s space no space in-between the road carriageway and private lands.”
The problem is a serious one for the island as it results in frequent digging up of roads, disrupting the smooth flow of traffic.