Fast electric railway tract linking Colombo to Jaffna
Posted on October 6th, 2009

Nagananda Kodituwakku from London

The Government of Sri Lanka is trying hard to rebuild Colombo ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” Jaffna railway track. However, it appears that the govt is unconcerned about the insignificant results that the restoration of the old tract would bring about to the people. In reality, apart from demonstrating that the old railway link is re-established [at an enormous cost] nothing tangible would be achieved by this effort. Hence, it is worthwhile to examine how the people would be benefited with the reinstallation of the old system, which takes almost half a day to reach Jaffna. It appears that the decision makers are either ignorant or unconcerned about the technological advancements of the railway industry, including the one in India, where the upgrading of railway systems has proved cost effective, reliable and beneficial to the travelling public.

Clearly, after the bloody war is ended, the Govt should have taken the advantage of the concerns of the world community that is still very keen about the return of fair treatment, lasting peace and harmony between the people of Southern and northern Sri Lanka.

It is regrettable that Sri Lanka is completely out of touch or ignorant of the railway industry standards today. For instance, TGV in France broke the 200 mph barrier more than half a century ago. Sri Lanka too should try to move forward and catch up with the technological advancement in the industry, at lease half way through. The railway system that required today is certainly a one based on new technology, a fast electric railway track connecting South and North, where the total distance is just 190 miles not a one, which takes almost half a day to reach Jaffna.

In the event the Govt of Sri Lanka make a fervent request to the European Nations, Japan and China, they would very likely consider such a request with a keen interest because the results that such a move bring would be enormous and clearly outweigh the cost of the bloody war. Making of such a fast tract would help to create closeness, trust and confidence in the people of South and North more than ever with the journey time drastically cut short to just one hour or to the maximum of two.

It is the govt of Sri Lanka that should take the initiative in the right direction and urge for international support for the creation of a fast track. Any such move would also demonstrate to the outside world the true concerns of the govt of Sri Lanka towards the people in Jaffna. The enormous benefits of realisation of such a move to the country is truly beyond imagination.

As at present, over a million displaced Lankan live in the Europe, which is still rising. Influx of these people has definitely become a strain to the economies in the Europe. Hence, any tangible move that would guarantee lasting peace and harmony between hitherto alienated two communities would surely draw the attention of the donor nations and the Sri Lanka govt should not miss this golden opportunity.

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