Posted on May 31st, 2016

Dr Sarath Obeysekera

I am writing this snippet in the car being driven  through 1.5 hours of traffic from Battaramulle to Muwal  to our yard

Driver joins me cursing three wheeler drivers who have just occupied steering stick  who has no proper driving experience and respect to traffic laws and no knowledge of  using  mirrors and signal lights in the Tuk Tuk .

Wanted dco through Kelani Valley road but feared floods and garbage blocking roads

I like minister John Amarathunge’s statement and again Ravi Karunanayake’s reasoning that the increase of taxes for bigger cars and three wheelers is justifiable .In Singapore Government discourages buying cars to reduce road congestion and imposes a congestion charge from cars entering the city  .But they have a highly developed public transportation system .People prefer to go by trains and buses and the roads and highways are developed .

We need to develop the public transport system. Best option is to impose an additional tax   on cars for usage of the road network between 6 am to 9 am and 3 pm to 8 pm

All the cars to be fitted  with an  electronic meter to be sensed by a camera along the road and charge the congestion fee .

Next option is to develop efficient internet facilities with camera system to work from home like in some companies in USA   ( may even be to encourage distance learning system using video communication  through internet and allow children to come to school only twice –one day during the week and one day in the weekend !!)

How about these stupid ideas to ponder into ??

Dr Sarath Obeysekera


  1. aloy Says:

    Dr. Sarath,
    Another option. Let 50% of state employees stay at home or do some other business of their own every other day. These people do virtually nothing in their offices other than traveling from distant places and using internet most of the time while in office. By allowing them to do some other work at least there will be some economic activity beneficial to the country.

  2. aloy Says:

    Of course the schools, hospitals, universities and law enforcement agencies etc. where office work is not needed should be exempted.

  3. Dham Says:

    These are not STUPID ideas.
    TRANSPORT is the BIGGEST problem we have despite stupid roads alrady built nicely by Mahinda.

    1. get rid of 3 wheeler ( road terrorism that kills more than LTTE bombs)
    2. “Road Tax” as per usage is a must. Siggapore ERP is a good example.

  4. Dilrook Says:

    Replacing three wheelers with small cars and motorbikes does not resolve the problem.

    Increasing the width of main roads within Colombo City is the best long term solution. Most of them are of the same width for the past 50 years whereas road users and vehicles have grown by at least 20 times. Most main roads must be at least doubled in size to future proof them. It is a huge project requiring planning and displacement of people but it is long overdue. With time, this problem will worsen. Waste of time of so many people, energy cost, additional accidents and deaths and pollution are far too much. However, UNP will never do it as most affected people will be UNPers.

    Home working is a good suggestion. Reducing the public sector by at least 50% is a must. Public sector salaries are killing the economy. That will ease trains and buses to a great extent.

    Taking offices away from Colombo where possible must be encouraged.

  5. Ananda-USA Says:

    The basic idea should be to relocate and redistribute the places of work away from highly congested cities. This will slso hflp de elop rural areas. Ideally, people should be able to live close to their places of work, and go to work by walking, by cycling, or by short trips on public transport.

    This redistribution of work places should be done very carefully with due regard to the environment, and the type of business activity, otherwise there will be continuous urban sprawl and the greenery and farming lands will be adversely affected.

    There is an optimal level of urbanisation, beyond which the environment degrades and the quality of life is severely affected. Humans have a symbiotic relationship to other living things such as plants, animals, and even free space and landscapes.

    Even in urbanized areas we need space to be allowed ated for small parks and quiet safe places for people to sit and relax.

    I grieve that the beautiful area in Mount Lavinia where I grew up as a child has become so congested that it has now unfit for human habitation. I now prefer the more rural Horana area where one of my sisters lives; it still abounds in the greenery and open fields free of the cacophony of sound closer to Colombo.

    We need more rapid transport systems in urban areas built to be hidden from view as much as possible. Underground subway systems are costlier, but are superior to above ground elevated trains from the point of view of environmental pollution, visual pollution, and dual use of the land.

    Sri Lanka should look ahead and plan for hydrogen fuel-cell powered public anc private transportation vehicles and energy storage systems. Hydrogen provides an ideal pollution free method of storing both renewable energy (solar, wind, ocean wave, anc bio-mass) off-peak excess energy produced by fossil fuel (and even nuclear) power plants.

    Toyota is now introducing the Toyota Mirai Fuel-cell car in the USA and I will be one of the early beta-testers. Toyota is giving 3 years of free hydrogen to fuel this car, but the number of fueling stations are very few. The car is expensive now and cannot be justified on cost alone. However, when the production ramps up, refueling stations will become commonplace and the cost will plummet. Hydrogen cars are the wave of the future and the hope of mankind to wean ourselves away from fossil energy that is running out and changing the climate.

    Toyota is the leader in this wave and will capture the new market for hydrogen vehicles just as the caputred the hybrid car market with the Prius hybrid!

    Sri Lanka should prepare itself to leverage this new technology based on Hydrogen.

  6. aloy Says:

    People say urban living is unhealthy. But Singapore and Hong Kong are concrete jungles. Singapore has a population of six million and they still want to increase it to be more competitive. The flat dwellers there do crab culture in their living quaters. They import fingerlings (very tiny ones) from Sri Lanka and fatten them in stacks inside the house on commercial scale. Sri Lankan crabs are very expensive (about Rs. 5000/= per kilo). When Chinese want to make money they find ingenious ways.
    Drones are going to replace motor vehicles to a great extent in the near future. They are already experimenting on delivery of medical supplies etc according to a BBC report. Perhaps even warfare in the future might be with drones. They are experimenting with swarms of drones that can be fired from field guns. They are also experimenting with micro chips that can be navigated like rockets with a mini solar panel attached to it and driven by a laser from the power generated. They say such microchips can even be programmed to go to space exploration with speed up to 20% of that of light. Perhaps these can be lethal weapons that can stay in the space for long durations.

  7. Ananda-USA Says:

    Dialog has installed a Tera-bit Cable for International Internet access.

    The new Dialog internet speeds may dwarf SLT internet speeds.

    I will get a trial fixed (not mobile) connection to Dialog’s internet service to compare against SLT service.

    Dialog connects Sri Lanka to ultra-high speed 100G-Plus submarine cable
    Wed, Jun 1, 2016, 08:56 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    June 01, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s premier telecommunications service provider, Dialog Axiata PLC, announced this week, the connection of Sri Lanka to the Ultra High Capacity 100G-PLUS Bay of Bengal Gateway (BBG) Submarine Fiber Optic Cable via its state-of-the-art Cable Landing Station (CLS) at Mount Lavinia (South Colombo).

    The Ultra High Capacity Submarine Cable was commissioned on Monday 30th of May 2016 by President Maithripala Sirisena, in the presence of the Minister of Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure, Harin Fernando, and other Telecommunications and ICT sector luminaries.

    Dialog’s BBG CLS now links the nation to one of the world’s most technologically advanced cable systems and powers up the single largest global bandwidth infusion to the country.

    Dialog’s investment in the BBG Cable Project exceeds USD 34.5 million (Rs 5 Billion) and underscores the company’s aggressive commitment to deliver the fastest and most advanced connectivity technology to all Sri Lankans. Dialog’s vision for the provision of high speed connectivity is underpinned by its ethos of maximizing digital inclusion via ensuring that the advanced services the company delivers are affordable and accessible to all Sri Lankan citizens, thereby maximizing its contribution towards the Socio-Economic Development of the Nation.

    The new cable system will deliver over 6.4 Terrabits Per Second (Tbps) of international bandwidth to Sri Lanka, and will represent a significant step-up with respect to connectivity speeds and will furthermore catalyze an unmatched connectivity experience coupled with a multiplicity of networking options for Retail Consumers and Enterprises. In addition to providing Sri Lanka’s Connectivity eco-system with the single largest infusion of International Bandwidth, the BBG cable will also infuse further speed and capacity to Dialog’s state-of-the-art 3G HSPA+, 4G and Fiber Optic networks. The BBG investment also exemplifies Dialog’s commitment to present the best in connectivity and enterprise solutions to Sri Lankan businesses. Dialog recently launched Cumulus its best-in-class business cloud services portfolio, which will be further strengthened in terms of global connectivity via the BBG.

    Furthering its role as an industry leader in the provision of International Gateway Services, Dialog will also extend the benefit of connectivity to High-Speed Internet Bandwidth delivered via the BBG CLS to other Telecommunications Service Providers in Sri Lanka.

    The BBG uses the most advanced high-speed fiber optic technology; dense wavelength division multiplexing, which allows the capacity to be increased manifold without additional submarine intervention. The initial equipped capacity of the system is a 6.4 Tbps on the back of a design capacity of 55 Tbps, which would enable the mani-fold expansion of the cable’s bandwidth and capacity in to the future.

    “Dialog is proud to connect Sri Lanka to its first 100Gbps-plus submarine cable, the largest ever infusion of international bandwidth into the country. The BBG presents numerous advanced and connectivity options, guaranteeing the fastest connectivity to Asia-Pacific, Europe and Beyond. Having spearheaded technology transformation in Sri Lanka, we are privileged to further enrich communication technologies and connectivity for all Sri Lankans and enterprises,” avers Azwan Khan, Chief Operating Officer of Dialog Axiata.

    Alongside Dialog Axiata, the BBG cable is co-owned by a group of high profile tier-1 global telecom operators including Vodafone, Reliance Jio Infocomm, Telekom Malaysia, Etisalat Group and Omantel.

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