The Cabinet of Ministers has approved a proposal to select an investor to manufacture 100 railway passenger coaches locally to meet the existing demand.
Transport Minister Gamini Lokuge on Monday presented the proposal to the Cabinet of Ministers to select an investor in compliance with the government procurement guidelines to manufacture 100 railway passenger coaches with the participation of private sector as a solution to prevailing requirements.
The Government Department of Information highlighted that 50 percent of the total railway passenger coach requirement amounting to 700 coaches should be provided expeditiously by procuring new coaches or renovating the current ones in use.
It noted that only 10 percent of existing coaches have been in service for 12 years or less while 30 percent coaches have been in service for 30 years and 60 percent have been in service for 25 to 30 years. To meet the demand for railway coaches, the government plans to procure 300 passenger coaches from India. In addition, 140 coaches are expected to be added through the on-going renovation project.
The Government Department of Information pointed out that these initiatives would only meet 42 percent of the total railway passenger coach requirement.
Further, the number of required coaches is projected to increase to around 800 over the next five years.
Therefore, the government views that manufacturing of railway passenger coaches locally with the participation of private sector as a solution to prevailing and future requirements.