Answer to rural area bus shortage
The Government has decided to repair 1,000 Sri Lanka Transport Board
(SLTB) buses lying idle in islandwide bus depots to solve the bus
shortage along routes in rural areas.
Transport Minister Kumara Welgama said that of the abandoned buses,
1,000 can be repaired and deployed on rural routes. The Ministry
intention is to increase the number of SLTB buses to, 7,000 by adding
the 1,000 buses to the fleet this year.
"We will ensure that an adequate number of buses ply along rural
routes," the Minister said.
These buses were kept off the roads and sold at auctions due to the
lack of spareparts like engines and gearboxes.
"We identified that they are in good condition and have only minor
repairs," he said.
The Minister said that expertise and a workforce are available in the
SLTB to repair buses which will save huge amount of money as well.
It is estimated that a huge income generated by the SLTB is lost due
to mismanagement and corruption. Therefore, action has been taken to
monitor activities closely to prevent wastage, Welgama said.
Meanwhile, the 24 and 36 dilapidated buses idling at the Aluthgama
and Tangalle bus depots had been repaired spending around Rs 10 million
and Rs 13 million and added to the fleet recently.
Dilapidated buses idling in bus depots in Kataragama, Mathugama and
Aluthgama were also repaired and added to the rural bus fleet.