Feasibility study to link railway from Mahawa to Puttalam | Daily News

Feasibility study to link railway from Mahawa to Puttalam

A feasibility study will be conducted on the possibility of having a new railway link from Mahawa to Puttalam connecting the Northern and Puttalam Railway lines, Sri Lanka Railways (SLR) General Manager B.A.P. Ariyaratne told the Daily News.

He said the proposed railway line is 80 kms. The railway track will serve the dual purpose of passenger transport as well as transporting of coal to the Norochcholai power plant. The project will lead to a transport boon and a rapid development of the area, including a boon to tourism and agricultural development of the North-Western Province. He said since transporting coal by roads is costly and creates adverse environmental impacts, this is the suitable option for all sectors.

Ariyaratne said the SLR is in talks with the Ceylon Electricity Board to implement the project.

"We have to increase the transport of goods by trains. We have signed an MOU with the Prima Company to transport flour from Trincomalee harbour to Seeduwa. Special railway engines and transporting wagons will be purchased by the Prima Company for flour transportation," he said.

According to Ariyarathne, the Railways Department will Rs. 15 million per month by flour transportation.

"We have planned to transport more coal by trains. We have a deal with Holcim Lanka to transport coal by rail from the eastern port of Trincomalee to Mahawa. Coal imported by Holcim is being sent by rail from the China Bay station in Trincomalee to the Mahawa railway station. This has resulted in increasing revenue to the SLR from freight transport," Ariyaratne said.

He said fuel transportation via trains will be increased.

"We are working together with CPC to distribute fuel by trains isladwide which is more beneficial for the SLR and the CPC as it is more cost effective. Four trains travel daily to the BIA carrying fuel required by flights," he said.

He said it is difficult to make the SLR more profitable as many concessions have been provided to various sectors in society.

"We only charge 15 percent of the value of the ticket fare from the public servants and only 5 percent from schoolchildren. Even on long distant trains, the fare is less than 40 percent of the corresponding bus fares,” Ariyaratne said. 


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