Sri Lanka builds fastest railway line first time after independence with China’s assistance
Posted on April 10th, 2019

Courtesy Business Today

The project was financed by the Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim Bank) and the contract was awarded to the China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation

The Sri Lankan government on Monday inaugurated its fastest railway line, which has been built with the assistance of the Chinese government. Sri Lanka finished the construction of first 26.75-km Matara-Beliatta railway extension first time after the island nation got independent in 1948. The new railway line was inaugurated by Arjuna Ranatunga, Sri Lanka’s Transport and Civil Aviation Minister, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, and other parliamentarians.

Sri Lanka builds fastest railway line first time after independence with China's assistance

Sri Lanka finished the construction of first 26.75-km Matara-Beliatta railway extension first time after the island nation got independent in 1948.

The project was financed by the Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim Bank) and the contract was awarded to the China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation. A major portion of the construction was carried out by the China Railway Group 5 (CR5) and Sri Lanka’s Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau (CECB). According to Sri Lankan media reports, the cost of the rail project was $278 million.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said, “The railway line is the first railway project contracted by the Chinese company in Sri Lanka under the BRI and it is indeed the first railway built after country’s independence.” The project will make regional transportation more convenient and facilitate  local economic and social development, said Lu Kang.

The construction of the rail track from Matara to Kataragama was started in 1991 by former president Ranasinghe Premadasa, reported Sri Lankan news portal. The Matara-Beliatta railway extension includes the longest and second longest railway bridges of 1.5 km and 1.04 km, respectively. The railway line also includes one of the tallest railway bridges, the longest railway tunnel and the most modern railway station buildings in the country.

China is Sri Lanka’s biggest lender. The country has made an investment of $8 billion in the island nation. Moreover,  Beijing already has a 99-year lease of Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port, as Colombo failed to repay Chinese debts.

2 Responses to “Sri Lanka builds fastest railway line first time after independence with China’s assistance”

  1. Dilrook Says:

    Though it is good on paper, there are many undesirables of this too. Dubious characters will go to Kataragama area in large numbers with the wrong intention of crime. Pilgrimage will be their perfect cover.

    These trains must start and conclude in Colombo and must not extend to the north.

  2. Hiranthe Says:

    “These trains must start and conclude in Colombo and must not extend to the north.”

    I totally agree with Dilrook. But our foolish politicians including our hero MR will do it saying it is reconciliation.

    It won’t be far that there will be a train from KKS to Kataragama. All the Jaffna pilgrims who used to travel by walking to South spreading love and harmony with the people in the South will take this train and similar to Jaffna train, they will then occupy the seats and will not offer any help to other travellers.

    This is called reconciliation offered to Tamils…

    Poor Citizen Silva’s tax money!!

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