The Kelani Valley rail line, which approximately 30,000 train commuters use daily, will be enhanced and developed into a double-track, said Ceylon Govt.Railway sources.
Preliminary groundwork such as clearing shanties and shrubs and other encroachments of govt. land, preparing and levelling adjacent land, noticing individuals to remove unauthorised structures and conducting relevant feasibility studies will shortly be set in motion.
Transport Minister Dallas Alahaperruma told The Island Financial Review that the development of the Kelani Valley railway line was a long-felt necessity. In this connection, the Korean Investment Development Institution of KOTRA had agreed to develop the Kelani Valley line. A team of representatives of that institution had already visited the island to commence an initial technical evaluation of the project.
Development of the Kelani Valley rail line had exercised his mind for a long time, he said, because successive governments, since independence, had steadfastly turned a blind eye to improve the railway services on the line, which had been run profitably from the 1960s.
Allahaperruma said that the development of public transport was vital as it would cater to the needs of an ever increasing commuter base. He was of the view that CGR had the potential to collect much revenue once the KV line project was completed as more commuters would use it to travel to their workplaces in Colombo. Also the cost factor will tilt the scales in favour of the KV line, which was nearly 60 kms in length.
Referring to the project, he outlined that new track in addition to the present one would be constructed with the introduction of state-of-the-art colour light systems, a new ticket issing system and removal of speed limits. He averred the Kelani Valley rail line would be on par with international railway lines on completion.
He also said the Korean investment institution would bear the costs involved in basic studies to prepare reports on the entire project. He lamented the CGR had become a white elephant due to inefficiency of employees,wrong political decisions in managing the organisation and fraudulent elements.
Allahaperruma noted that apart from Korea, Soviet Russia, Germany and Brazil have maintained excellent railway services. Railway authorities in those countries were in the habit of communicating withone another to identify problems affecting railway services and resolving them with the object of catering to the needs of passengers.
Source: The Island
Tags: colour light signals, commuters, encroachments, feasibility, illegal structures, international railway, kelani valley line, korean investment, railway employees, railway lines, railway services, shanties, speed limits, technical evaluation, ticket system, white elephant