The British Government through its Export Credit Guarantee Department (ECGD) has provided a credit package of Sterling Pound 50 million (Rs. 11.5 billion) for the reconstruction of bridges in Sri Lanka.
The loan facility is provided by the HSBC Bank Plc, UK together with the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Sri Lanka, states the Finance Ministry.
Loan proceeds will be utilised to finance the reconstruction of 222 priority bridges throughout the country. In addition two flyovers, one at the Kelaniya Railway crossing and the other at Hendala on the Colombo Katunayake Road will also be constructed under this project.
The construction of bridges will be undertaken using modular bridge components which are cost effective and can be erected in shorter period.
Most of the bridges on national highways which are of dilapidated conditions will be replaced under this project.
The project is scheduled to be completed in four years. It will be implemented by the Road Development Authority and has been contracted to the Mabey & Johnson Limited of the United Kingdom.
This project followed the successful completion of the bridge rehabilitation programme implemented in the Northern and Eastern Provinces where 80 bridges were supplied and installed under a similar credit facility of Sterling Pound 20 million extended by the British Government in 2003.
The two Loan Agreements with HSBC Bank Plc, United Kingdom and Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Sri Lanka were signed yesterday at the Temple Trees in the presence of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, Minister of Highways and Road Development.
The Acting Secretary to the Ministry of Finance and Planning Sumith Abeysinghe signed the Agreements on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka and David Griffiths, Chief Executive Officer of Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Sri Lanka signed on behalf of the HSBC Bank.
Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the Ministry of Highways and Road Development S. Amerasekara, Tom Owen Edmunds, First Secretary of the British High Commission and Managing Director of the HSBC United Kingdom Jaff Bailey were also present at this occasion.
Source: Daily News