‘Godagama to Hambantota extension to be commissioned in November’ | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

‘Godagama to Hambantota extension to be commissioned in November’

Chairman, Road Development Aurhority (RDA), Nihal Sooriarachchi visited section one (Godagama to Beliatta) of the Southern Expressway extension last week to see for himself if work was being carried out as usual.
Chairman, Road Development Aurhority (RDA), Nihal Sooriarachchi visited section one (Godagama to Beliatta) of the Southern Expressway extension last week to see for himself if work was being carried out as usual.

The work on a part of section one the Godagama to Beliatta Expressway extension came to a grinding halt last Tuesday, July 2 when the Chinese contractor stopped work as the Road Development Authority had failed to settle invoices, some of which had been outstanding for over eight months. But after hectic negotiations and written assurances work resumed the following day.

Addressing the media on Tuesday, the Chairman of the Road Development Authority (RDA), Nihal Sooriyarachchi said that the extension of the Southern Expressway from Godagama to Mattala and Hambantota will be operational by end of November this year.

The 96 km stretch costing Rs. 255.2 billion and funded by the Exim bank of China and the Government of Sri Lanka was constructed in four sections.

Section 1: Matara to Beliatta (30km.) - Rs. 113.5 billion; Section 2: Beliatta to Wetiya (26 km.) - Rs 55.2 billion; Section 3: Wetiya to Andarawewa (15 km.) - Rs. 31.5 billion and Section 4: Mattala-Hambantota via Andarawewa (25 km.) - Rs 56 billion.

There will be interchanges after Godagama at Aparekka, Beliatta, Kasagala, Angunukolapelessa, Wetiya, Suriyawewa, Mattala and Hambantota

The RDA boss was in Matara to see the progress of the project so far.

“The backlog of outstanding invoices to foreign contractors started building after the change of government that took place on October 26, 2018 as the supplementary estimate submitted by the Ministry of Highways and Road Development and approved by parliament on the morning of October 26 was held up”

“It was a double disaster as the parliamentary session scheduled for June 28 to which we were to submit another supplementary estimate was postponed until July 9. I had given an assurance to the contractor that I would settle their dues by July 1,” he added. “Even though they did not work on Tuesday I am grateful to them for accepting my assurances and continuing with the work.”

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