Colombo, Jul 19 : A 130 km long railway from Maho to Omanthai in Sri Lanka will be upgraded under Indian concessional financing, making travel between Colombo and Jaffna more comfortable.
A contract agreement for around $91.26 million for upgrading the track was signed between IRCON International Limited and Government of Sri Lanka here on Thursday. This is the first time the track is being upgraded in 100 years. This project would double the speed potential of railway track from the current around 60 km to 120 km per hour, as well as reduce the maintenance costs. It will also improve the travel comfort of passengers, and further contribute to the modernization of Sri Lanka Railways.
India has so far committed Lines of Credit worth around $1.3 billion for development of railway sector in Sri Lanka, according to the Indian High Commission. The restoration of arterial railway lines, connecting the North and the South after decades of conflict, was undertaken under Indian concessional financing. The tsunami-affected Southern Railway line was also upgraded under Indian Line of Credit. India has so far upgraded around 300 km of railway track and provided modern signaling and telecommunication system for around 330 km in Sri Lanka.
In June 2017, India signed a fresh Line of Credit Agreement for $318 million for the development of railway sector in Sri Lanka.
Under this Line of Credit, other projects that are underway include procurement of 160 passenger coaches; upgradation of signal and telecommunication system from Maho to Anuradhapura; and setting up of a Railway Workshop in Rathmalana etc. Procurements of rolling stock from India are also underway including 6 DMUs, 10 locomotives, 20 container carrier wagons, 30 fuel tank wagons, 160 passenger coaches, and 500 buses. India has also contributed substantially to capacity building of Sri Lankan railway personnel.
This project is in continuation of India’s efforts to partner with Sri Lanka in people-oriented connectivity projects in Sri Lanka. (UNI)