Highways Ministry begins Rs 5.6 b road renovation project with OPEC funds | Sunday Observer

Highways Ministry begins Rs 5.6 b road renovation project with OPEC funds

23 October, 2022

The Highways Ministry has begun reconstructing the A017 road from Deniyaya to Rakwana-Suriyakanda to stimulate key development sectors such as tourism, trade, and agriculture, to promote economic growth, Highways Ministry Secretary R.W.R. Premasiri told the Sunday Observer yesterday.

“The project will connect some of the country’s most remote regions. The tea estates on either side of the road will be a major tourist draw,” said Premasiri, adding “it promotes the tourism industry by improving the landscape.”

The cost of the second stage of the A017 Road Corridor Rehabilitation Project (Rakwana- Suriyakanda), is estimated to cost Rs. 5.6 billion, according to Ministry sources. The OPEC Fund for International Development provides financial assistance for the project in collaboration with the Government.

The sources said, Minister of Transport, Highways and Mass Media, Dr. Bandula Gunawardena has proposed that the project’s operations will begin immediately. The Cabinet last week approved Dr. Gunawardena’s proposal. “The Road Development Authority of the Highways Ministry has begun preliminary reconstruction work on the A017 road on the direction of Minister Dr. Gunawardena to expedite the work,” said Secretary Premasiri.

He said the road would be broadened from three metres to seven metres from Deniyaya to Rakwana. In 2020, the OPEC Fund signed a US$40 million loan agreement with Sri Lanka to co-finance the rehabilitation of the A017 road corridor.