‘Viable solution to city’s traffic congestion’ | Daily News


Colombo Light Railway

‘Viable solution to city’s traffic congestion’

The Colombo Light Railway (LTR) will offer a sustainable solution for the traffic congestion suffered by commuters in Colombo and its suburbs for decades, Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said yesterday.

The LTR system including other modern commuter facilities such as multimodal transportation hubs in Malabe and Fort, will lay a foundation for a country worth living in, Minister Ranawaka said.

He was speaking at the launch ceremony of the Colombo Light Rail project which was held under the patronage of Prime Minster Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel on Wednesday evening.

The LTR project is a Japan funded project worth US$ 2.2 billion that would connect Malabe and Fort with a modern light train service for the benefit of the public. Japanese Ambassador Akira Sugiyama, Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka, Transportation and Civil Aviation Minister Arjuna Ranatunga, State Transportation and Civil Aviation Minister Ashoka Abeysinghe and Colombo Mayor Rosy Senanayake were present at the launch ceremony.

Minister Ranawaka said the LTR project is similar to other enormous development projects in Sri Lanka, second only to the Port City and the Mahaweli Development Project. The LTR project will initially benefit the people in the traffic-affected corridor from Malabe to Colombo Fort and then turn into a profitable project for all investors who join hands with this gigantic project.

Commending the project team for their efficiency, the Minister said he was confident that they would be able to finish the LRT project before its due date.

“This is a revolutionary change in our transportation system. We are a country that has such a huge density of people. The traffic congestion in and out of Colombo creates a strain on both social and economic development. We cannot give a private vehicle to everyone and develop this country.”

“For some decades, our governments have all focused on private transportation. But this project will, through a different approach, enhance public transportation in this country. We believe it will give the necessary boost to our economy and long-term development,” he said.

“In our country, projects like these take ages to complete. But I am proud to say that we would be able to have this project up and running in a very short period of time. We will remove the Manning Market and bring the Fort railway station and the bus stand under one multimodal hub with funding from the French government next year. And I sincerely hope that with all these modernizations, we will be able to establish a country worth living in.” Minister Ranawaka said.

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