The Railway Services State Minister C. B. Ratnayake yesterday said that the ministry had decided to suspend importing of railway compartments in the future. Speaking to the media following an inspection visit to the Maradana Railway yard, the minister said only the seats of the compartments would be imported in the first phase, at the initiating of the programme.
However, the technicians and engineers at the Maradana workshop yard were able to construct the required seats using local materials, he said.
A project proposal to build compartments locally had already been passed.
The Minister said that most of the old compartments were more than 25 years old.
“Our locally skilled workers of the Railways Department have proven that they have the technology and skills to repair these compartments,” he said.
He said the programme was initiated to repair 200 coaches and to complete the project within three years.
A total of 140 compartments had already been completed and were in service, the Minister added. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)