166,000 tonnes of rail tracks imported: Vavuniya-Jaffna rail track to be re-laid
By Thameenah Razeek
Minister of Passenger Transport Management, Mahinda Amaraweera said rail tracks from Anuradhapura to Vavuniya have been in a state of disrepair for decades due to the lack of modernisation and trains plying the Vavuniya-Jaffna line were slow.
Steps will be taken to develop rail tracks from Anuradhapura to Vavuniya next year and the construction of tracks from Hambanthota to Kataragama is also expected to commence.
Speaking at a progress review meeting at the Ministry recently regarding railway modernisation projects, Amaraweera said even though a possibility existed to upgrade tracks that were in disrepair, no one took the initiative to do so. Officials in charge of the projects informed the Minister that the Anuradhapura-Vavuniya track would have to be closed for several months next year. Meanwhile, 166,000 tonnes of rail tracks have been imported to modernise the line. Slots for 15 quarries have also been identified, he said.
Meanwhile, Director General of Railways, Nilantha Fernando noted the ‘Indian Line of Credit’ project will be handled by an Indian company and will commence next January.
When queried as to whether local engineers were involved in the project, Fernando said local engineers will be consulted.