Sri Lanka launches USD2.2Bn LRT project to modernise city dwelling and transportation


Jul 04, 2019 (LBO) – The government launched the Malabe and Colombo Fort Light Rail Transit (LRT) project with the aim of modernising the city’s transpotation system.

The Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development launched the project in the presence of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, yesterday in Colombo.

The construction work is due to commence in 2020 and is scheduled to be completed in four years.

The total investment for the project is US 2.2 billion dollars and 1.85 billion dollars will be provided by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as a soft loan.

The interest rate of the loan for the civil works and procurement of equipment is 0.1 percent, and for the consultancy services is 0.01 percent per annum with a repayment period is 40 years.

Speaking at the event the Premier said the LRT project is an example of how the Government is working to modernise Colombo. 

“Despite many challenges faced by us, we have still managed to push Sri Lanka towards modernisation,” he said.

“As a country we have to modernise – not just in transport, but education, healthcare, housing and other infrastructure. That is how Sri Lanka has transformed itself into one of the fastest growing cities in South Asia,”

Megapolis and Western Development Minister Champika Ranawaka, who also spoke at the event said the LRT is one of the largest projects undertaken by the Government.

“The LRT is expected to reduce travel time between Malabe and Fort to just 30 minutes,”

“The project includes a LRT hub in Malabe with plans already underway to extend it to Athurugiriya or Kottawa.”

The project covers a distance of 17 km with and there will be 16 stations along the route which covers the Borella, Rajagiriya, Battaramulla and Thalahena areas.

Once the project is completed the commute from Malabe to Fort will be reduced with trains operating every four minutes during peak hours.

Project Director, Eng. Commander (Rretired) Chaminda Amaradasa said that a separate authority would be formed to manage the project while the team is also looking at obtaining funds to maintain green surroundings of stations.

The fare form Malambe to Colombo would be 100 rupees one way.

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