SL- Hungarian transport plan languishes | Sunday Observer

SL- Hungarian transport plan languishes

The proposed joint transport plan of deploying 1,000 luxury buses in Sri Lanka, between a Hungarian company and the Sri Lanka Transport Board, have stagnated for months now, due to a report pending from the Hungarian company the Sunday Observer learnt.

Replying to a Right to Information (RTI) requested by the Sunday Observer, the Sri Lanka Transport Board said that, they have called for a comprehensive proposal with all details to arrive at a decision on the viability of the said proposal.

According to the information provided, the unsolicited proposal to amalgamate zero emission and hybrid buses provided by a company named, Csepel Holding Ltd, in Budapest, Hungary into the SLTB fleet, were handed over to the SLTB on July 2, 2018. The Cabinet on August 7, 2018 appointed a Cabinet Appointed Negotiating Committee and a Project Committee to assist in arriving at a decision.

A spokesperson for the SLTB said that as of June 2018, they had 2,913 buses which were beyond their economic life span of 10 years and needed to be replaced.

This has been the main reason to consider the proposal as claimed by the SLTB. Vice Chairman, SLTB, Priyantha Balasuriya said that providing a better service to the public deploying new buses is the aim of the project.

“According to the proposal, the Hungarian company will deploy 1000 buses. We are in urgent need of replacing buses as 1,600 buses of our fleet are over 15 years old. We cannot provide a quality service with a poor fleet like this” he said. However, the SLTB has called upon Csepel Holding Ltd to submit a comprehensive proposal including the value of the project, contribution of each stakeholder, ownership of buses and profit sharing on October 2, 2018 but the proposal has not been forwarded to the SLTB as yet.

“We currently cover only about 1.2 million kms all around the country. We just cannot meet the demand. With this deal, there is an opportunity to start new routes too” said Balasuriya.