May 15, 2013 (LBO) – Trains have begun operating on the segment of a 252 kilometre railway track system in Sri Lanka’s north rebuilt with Indian aid which was destroyed 23 years ago during the island’s separatist conflict. The rebuilt track from Madawachchiya to Madhu Road on a track leading to Talaimnnar in the northeast was commissioned on May 14, with a train leaving from Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka’s north central province at 9.48 am.

The train had reached newly built Madhu Road, station at 10.48 am. Madhu has shrine that is important to Sri Lankans of the Catholic faith and it has a festival in August, which draws a large number of pilgrims.

The first 43 kilometres of track built with 81 million US dollars of Indian credit by India’s state-run engineering firm Ircon is part of a larger project covering 252 kilometres.

The rehabilitation of track and signaling is being funded through an 800 million US dollar concessional credit line, India’s embassy in Colombo said.

Sri Lanka’s economic development minister Basil Rajapaksa had said that around 85 percent of recent loans taken by the island involved rebuilding former war-torn areas.

Nearly 300,000 war refugees had now been resettled, the econo