Colombo, Dec 23 (NIA) – Sri Lanka will introduce a light railway system in capital Colombo and the main suburbs next year, in order to reduce the traffic congestion on its roads, the Finance Ministry said.
In addition, separate lanes for public buses will also be introduced in Colombo under a proposed mechanism to streamline public bus service within city limits.
“Plans are already afoot to launch the construction of two new roads, one between New Kelani Bridge and Athurugiriya and, the second road between Kelani Bridge and Colombo Port in next year,” the Ministry said.
“One of the main concerns of the plan is to identify 7 entry points to the city and start a light railway system from each point. This new light railway system will cover the main suburbs including Borella, Kottawa, Battaramulla, Kaduwela, Maradana, Mattakkuliya, Peliyagoda, Dematagoda, Kadawatha, Bambalapitiya and Kirullapane.”
The Ministry further said that another project will be launched to upgrade the existing railway lines in order to reduce the number of buses entering daily to the city.
Accordingly, Kelani Valley Railway line will be extended up to Rathnapura and an additional line will be constructed between Polgahawela and Kurunegala.
“The vehicle speed limit within Dec 22, Colombo was between 40 to 60 kilometers per hour in 1980 but it has currently been reduced to 8 kilometers per hour. It is predicted that this speed limit will further be reduced to 6 kilometers per hour by 2020,” the Ministry said.
The main reason for this is the increasing number of vehicles on public roads.
The total vehicle population in Sri Lanka was 3,390,993 in 2008. It rose up to 6,302,141 in 2015. The length of A and B grade roads in the country is 12,173 kilometers. 250,000 vehicles daily enter the Colombo city and this number annually increases by 25,000.