Arrangements are being made to open the 26 kilometre-long Katunayake - Kelaniya Expressway, built at a cost of US$ 291 million, this August.
The Ports and Highways Ministry commenced the construction of the expressway in 2009 under the direction of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, who inspected the expressway recently, instructed the relevant officials to plant trees native to Sri Lanka on either side of the road, after conserving the marshy lands on either side of the expressway and cleaning the Dutch Canal.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister Basil Rajapaksa said that the true benefits of the Southern and Colombo-Katunayake Expressways can be reaped only after the completion of the Northern Expressway, the initial work on which has already begun.
Plans have been drawn up to constructing the Northern Expressway in three stages - the first from Enderamulla to Ambepussa, the second from Meerigama to Pellandeniya and the third from Ambepussa to Kandy.
Participating in a discussion at the Parliamentary complex on the construction of this expressway, Minister Basil Rajapaksa said the planning has to be done causing the least harm to human settlements and the natural environment.
The technical report on the expressway construction, the environmental report, surveying the area, geological aspects and the resettlement of people, who will be displaced as a result of land acquisition for the purpose, are now being studied since the project is expected to meet the needs that would arise by 2030.
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