May 02, 2008 (LBO) – The highway from the Sri Lankan capital Colombo to hill country town of Kandy will be developed into a toll expressway at a cost of 30 billion by a Malaysian contractor, a senior government official said Friday. “We have an offer from Malaysia, a consultancy firm, and they have prepared their proposal to build a road from Colombo to Ambepussa without any cost to the Sri Lankan Government,” M B S Fernando, chairman, Road Development Authority (RDA) told LBO.
Ambepussa is the central point where roads from Kandy and the north-central town of Kurunegala join to funnel traffic to Colombo.
This will enable the Malaysian firm to recover their cost for the Colombo-Ambepussa stretch using the toll charge from vehicles using the expressway.
The initial phase of the five-year project is already underway with the RDA conducting surveys and acquisition of land in the 54 kilometre stretch from Colombo to Ambepussa.
The Malaysian firm will also be compensating the land owners and construction will commence in 2010, Fernando says.
The stretch between Ambepussa and Kandy has much less traffic.
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Therefore, the Sri Lankan government will bear part of the cost of construction while the rest would be r