By Darshana Sanjeewa
The newly constructed Matara-Beliatta railway extension will be vested with the public today, the Ministry of Transport said yesterday.
The first train will leave for Beliatta from Matara Railway Station 9.00 am today and there would be seven trains on the Matara-Beliatta railway line which will start from the Beliatta Railway station, the ministry said.
Four trains will leave to Maradana; one will leave for Galle while other two trains will leave for Jaffna and Vavuniya respectively. In addition, six trains will reach the Beliatta railway station in which five of them from Maradana while the other from Vavuniya.
The 113km railway line from Matara to Kataragama is to be completed in three phases and the Matara to Beliatta segment is the first phase of the project. The second phase of the project is the 48km segment from Beliatta to Hambantota and in the third phase of the track will be extended to another 39km covering Hambantota and Kataragama.
Construction of the Matara-Beliatta section was carried out at a cost of US$ 278 million by a Chinese company with the funding from China Exim Bank. The construction supervision was done under the guidance of the Central Engineering Bureau.
Main stations have been constructed at Kekanadura, Bambarenda, Wevurukannala and Beliatta. Two sub stations have been setup at Piladuwa and Veherahena.
The first class fare from Beliatta to Matara is Rs.120, while the second class ticket priced at Rs.70 and the third class at Rs.35.