India today agreed to provide assistance to establish a Signaling and Telecommunication system for railway network in Northern Province of Sri Lanka.
General Manager of Sri Lanka Railways B.A.P. Ariyarathna and the Managing Director of Indian Railway Construction Company Limited (IRCON) Mohan Tiwari signed tha agreement today in the presence of Minister of Transport Kumara Welgama, High Commissioner of India Ashok K. Kantha, and Secretary, Ministry of Transport Dhammika Perera, a press release by the High Commission of India in Colombo said.
Under the agreement, India will supply and install a Signaling and Telecommunication system for the railway network in the Northern Province at a cost of US$ 86.51 million provided by the Indian government at concessional terms as a part of Indian Line of Credit of US$ 800 million.
The proposed contract will cover the Anuradhapura- Kankasanthurai (KKS) and Medawachchiya Thalaimannar sections which cover a route length of 341 kilometers and 28 stations.
The signaling work involves provision of centralized control panel, interlocking color light system with electrically operated points and track detection system. All the level crossings will be interlocked with new signaling system, which would ensure safety at level crossings.
The telecommunication work involves provision of optical fiber communication system throughout the section. In addition, public address system, etc., shall also be provided at major stations.
In his remarks after the signing ceremony, High Commissioner Kantha has said that the proposed telecommunication system offered by IRCON is based on proven technology and maintainability.
He noted that work is already in progress for track- laying work on the Medawachchiya – Madhu Road, Madhu Road – Thalaimannar and Omanthai – Pallai Sections. He added that IRCON is receiving full support of the Government of Sri Lanka and the projects would be completed as per schedule.
High Commissioner also noted that IRCON has successfully completed Galle – Matara Section of Coastal Railway Line covering 42 kilometers in February 2011. The work on Kalutara – Galle Section is scheduled to commence from first week of September 2011 and will be completed by March 2012. The southern coastal railway line project is also being funded under Government of India credit line of US$ 167.4 million.
The credit line carries an interest rate of LIBOR plus 0.5 % with LIBOR capped at 3% with a repayment period of 20 years with a five year moratorium.
Minister Welgama speaking at the occasion has noted the deep bond of friendship between the two countries and expressed his deep appreciation for assistance provided by the Government of India.