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Sunday, 1 November 2009

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Trains to Omanthai soon

The Colombo-Kankesanthurai Railway track would be opened by the end of next year after a lapse of over 26 years, said Minister of Transport, Dullas Alahapperuma.

Speaking to Sunday Observer, he said in a bid to speed up construction several Chinese and Indian companies would be involved in the laying of Northern railway tracks.

He said the trains are now operating up to Thandikulam and would be extended to Omanthai by the end of the year. "We will operate Colombo-Omanthai trains from January," he assured.

The Minister said the stretch between Thandikulam and Omanthai has already been laid and stations are also being reconstructed under various Ministries. "In a bid to facilitate merchandise transport, we have extended the railway to six kilometres from Thandikulam. This six km stretch would be opened on November 6 and it would help the transport of goods in a major way," he said.

Commenting on the City Liner luxury passenger service he said that it is now gaining in popularity with over 115 vehicle owners patronizing it. "When we started the service from Ratmalana, there was only one vehicle. I am happy with the progress this service had made," he said. Requests have also been made to extend this service to Wadduwa.

Over 270,000 cars enter the city daily, taking 65 per cent of the road space and causing traffic congestion. In addition 15,000 buses ply daily to the city, bringing in 840,000 passengers.

He said vehicle parks would be opened in Kadawatha and in two other locations in the High Level and Piliyandala Roads. "We expect over 1,000 vehicles to use this service when all four centres are in operation," he said.

He said the Smart Card driving licence that was introduced early this year is of international standard and has proved to be a success with tampering reduced to almost zero.

 

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