If I hold the power to monitor capital expenditure, I would give priority to uplift the public transport like train and bus services instead of constructing highways, expressways and flyovers, Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said.
While addressing the gathering during the opening of ‘second phase of the Lakhiru Sevana’ housing scheme in Malagawatte last evening he said developments done to the transport sector would lead the country forward.
"Unfortunately, we preferred to have flyovers and expressways. That was why we are in a huge debt trap from which we are unable to overcome" he said.
"Twenty-eight per cent of people used trains as their transport service in 1860 but it was not more than five per cent when it comes to the previous year.
We should change this situation by strengthening public transport. Since 2006, funds had been allocated from budgets to build roads, expressways and flyovers. 15 per cent of the area in the Colombo city had been covered with roads," Minister said.
"Therefore, the road capacity in the Colombo town should be increased by three times than the present road capacity to support the number of vehicles coming on to roads by 2030, this task is impossible. For that, all we have to do is to increase the public transport services.
There would be no future in our country unless we have a better transport service. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)