By Sandun A Jayasekera
Sri Lanka will stop importing train compartments and instead build them using local technology and raw materials at a special workshop constructed at the main railway workshop in Ratmalana, Transport Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said.
Minister Amaraweera added that the government had taken a policy decision not to import machinery, food, spices, fruits, clothes or any other item that can be produced or cultivated in Sri Lanka.
After visiting the Ratmalana railway workshop and meeting employees yesterday, Minister Amaraweera said all employees and engineers agreed to the project and expressed confidence that it would be a success as they had the technology and raw material to build railway compartments in the country.
“We have imported railway compartments for more than a century from Britain, Canada, Rumania, China, Korea and India spending billions of rupees at a time.
Producing of railway compartments domestically will be a new beginning to motivate other sectors in the country, revisit their business plan and give priority to local products,” he stressed.
Commenting on the running of public transport system after curfew is lifted on Monday (11) Minister Amaraweera said SLTB and private buses would be permitted to take passengers only to full seating capacity subject to health authorities approval.
“We understand that running with one passenger per seat is not feasible. Therefore, we have decided to let buses run only with passengers seated. No passengers are permitted to travel standing,” Minister Amaraweera said.
The same policy will be applied to trains also under the advice of the health authorities, he noted and added he had a discussion with the GMOA on the issue and expected their response by Friday.
Minister Amaraweera added that the government had taken a policy decision not to import machinery, food, spices, fruits, clothes or any other item that can be produced or cultivated in Sri Lanka