Ruwanpura Expressway project inaugurated
The inauguration ceremony of the Ruwanpura Expressway project was held on Friday (7) at Temple Trees under the patronage of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. Work on the first phase of the project commenced, beginning with the construction of the 24 km section from Kahathuduwa to Ingiriya. The second and third phases of the project will extend the expressway up to Ratnapura and Pelmadulla, respectively.
Construction up to Pelmadulla is expected to be completed within two and a half years and is being overseen by the Road Development Authority, added the Premier.
The Ruwanpura Expressway is expected to reduce traffic congestion, reduce costs, save time, facilitate access to tea, apparel, minor export crop and gem markets and supply points, expand investment opportunities including tourism and create new jobs. Speaking at the ceremony, the Premier said that plans had been taken to construct this expressway in 2014. “However, despite losing the election we thought that the ‘Yahapalanaya’ Government would continue this development.” He alleged that the previous Government had no intention of developing the country and halted all development projects that were underway.
He added that the previous Government also tried to take their revenge following their obtaining power. “We took back a country where national security and economy had come to a standstill,” claimed Rajapaksa. He stressed that the current Government only wants to develop the country and implement the wishes of the people.
He pledged to continue working for the benefit of the people, no matter the challenges faced by the Government. The Prime Minister went on to note that the Government is spending Rs. 54.7 billion in local funds for the first 24 km of this road and that a local company is overseeing the construction. “Highways are the most criticised projects in the country,” stated the Premier.
However, he pointed out that even these critics are now travelling comfortably on these highways. Prime Minister Rajapaksa also noted the efforts of the Minister of Highways Johnston Fernando who, the Premier said, was paying “special attention to these projects.” Minister of Highways Johnston Fernando, State Minister of Rural Roads and Other Infrastructure NimalLanza and Secretary to the Ministry of Highways R.W.R. Mr. Premasiri were also present at the ceremony.