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Fresh efforts underway to expedite illumination in Expressways

27 January 2024 07:35 am - 57     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Colombo, Jan. 27 (Daily Mirror)- In the wake of two fatal accidents including the pre-dawn crash that claimed the life of State Minister Sanath Nishantha, the Road Development Authority (RDA) is planning to expedite illumination of the expressway by laying aluminum transmission cables in place of Rs.250 million worth copper current cables stolen during the pandemic.

Darkness is now identified as one of the reasons that can cause accidents on the expressway after nightfall.

Asked for a comment on the situation, Transport, Highways and Media Minister Bandula Gunawardane told Daily Mirror that the RDA, instructed by engineers, decided to lay aluminum cables for power transmission along the expressway that links the airport with the city.

However, he said the project remain delayed and he instructed the officials concerned to complete work in one month’s time.


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  Comments - 57

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  • Joshua Saturday, 27 January 2024 08:05 AM

    How many moons have passed after the pandemic. These inefficient politicians and public officials are sleeping in their duty. Absolute nonsense. Shows how effectively our tax money is being used

    Amaran Saturday, 27 January 2024 10:11 AM

    How may times, our government cabinet ministers and President would have gone thru this dark EXPRESS WAY in the nights? Do they sleep while travelling? Cost of importing one SUV for ministeres could have been used to replace the stolen copper cables.

    Govnt has no sense of Public Safety Saturday, 27 January 2024 01:30 PM

    Agree with #Amaran. It’s always been dark over the years during the night on this highway. Needed a politician

    Don’t Bother Attitude Cost Lives Sunday, 28 January 2024 09:30 AM

    Needed a politician to be the sacrificing lamb for action to be taken. I guess he

    Budget Saturday, 27 January 2024 08:06 AM

    Why not Solar ???

    Tissa Fernando Saturday, 27 January 2024 04:57 PM

    It seems that Sri Lankans in energy sector do not like solar much. Solar is a sustainable solution but requires initial capital deployment they need to install solar panels on top of the light post securely to withstand wind and battery storage somewhere else. Thus requires some work and thinking.

    Come on sun is down how can solar work Saturday, 27 January 2024 07:37 PM

    Solar mania is too much. Solar cells don't work in the dark, when it's overcast, and many other condtions.

    wsw Monday, 29 January 2024 07:44 AM

    Considering the fraudulent Sri Lankan mindset, it will not work, cos they will devise a method to steal the solar panels and make a quick buck.

    Dinesh Saturday, 27 January 2024 08:20 AM

    Good Commission and more money for the thieves.

    DW (from UK) Saturday, 27 January 2024 08:23 AM

    Darkness had very little to do with the recent accident. It was caused by excessive speeding, lack of attention, poor judgement, poor hazard perception skills and fatigue (alcohol might have played a role). Experts have identified that the vehicle was travelling at around 160km/h in the 100 zone at the time of the accident. The driver was overtaking a vehicle from left and didn't make a good judgement when he saw another vehicle in front very close-by in the left lane. Lastly, 2am early morning is when humans are usually asleep. Our brains react slower at night alcohol makes it worse. Under all those conditions, a good experienced mature driver would have slowed down but he didn't. Lack of street lights almost had nothing to do with the accident. It looks like the department of Transport, Highways and also the minister need to start gaining some basic skills on driver training and road safety. If the ministry can't figure out true causes then god help the rest.

    Sokrates Saturday, 27 January 2024 08:46 AM

    In the EU, Belgium is the only country whose motorways are illuminated. So why does Sri Lanka need to light up its highways? Because some drivers cannot drive in the dark or because many vehicles' taillights and headlights do not work; Should the taxpayer pay for that?

    Nimal Perera Saturday, 27 January 2024 11:23 AM

    Please don't make this types of comments without knowing the facts. Lighting a highway is an essential requirement to protect lives of commuters.

    Jayantha Saturday, 27 January 2024 12:08 PM

    Lol. Looks like a fellow without license jabbering nonsense. If you do not drive pls keep your ars quiet.

    Tissa Fernando Saturday, 27 January 2024 07:26 PM

    No , these are toll highways, people pay for the use. So the cost of lighting should come from the revenue. Increase Rs 10 or 20 for the additional cost. JVP will not mind it as they are not fond of using these highways. They will introduce bullockcarts to revive the economy. That will save a lot of money in fuel costs as well as emergency medical and cleanup costs.

    Dee Saturday, 27 January 2024 10:47 PM

    A future NPP government will do away with all street lights. Anyway the type of people who vote for them are used to darkness! The first thing they will do is blow away the already existing street lamps, after that they will go after the transformers. This was clearly stated by their future defense minister. But it was apparently a subversive tactic to cut off power prior to attack.

    Nimal Saturday, 27 January 2024 09:19 AM

    When you are charging tolls shouldn't some of those funds go towards the regular maintenance of the expressways?

    Lion Saturday, 27 January 2024 09:23 AM

    This was highlighted constantly by the social media and the public media but the authorities never cared , they opened their eyes only when Sanath Nishantha died on the highway . This is how this government values the life of an ordinary man and the politicians

    Spartacus Saturday, 27 January 2024 09:24 AM

    So when one of them dies, solutions are instantaneous. They are not talking about the vagrant driving observed by the Container driver and possibility of even the driver of the cruiser being drunk because they had attended two weddings.

    Aviator Saturday, 27 January 2024 10:30 AM

    The cost of not repairing the cables is Sanath Nishantha. That’s not a bad price to pay really. Nishantha dead and lights repaired.

    Trehan Munasinghe Saturday, 27 January 2024 11:18 AM

    "Darkness is now identified as one of the reasons that can cause accidents on the expressway after nightfall." Wow what a realisation by a bunch of moronic policymakers... need not say anymore on their understanding. Most of Colombo roads have dark areas / dark zones you drive from light into darkness then again light, the Gov't must think people are related to Batman or have night vision. Switch on the damn Street lights.

    Jan Leon Saturday, 27 January 2024 11:19 AM

    It is very difficult to drive in the night on this highway. I have complained many times at exit points. This is the only higway I have seen without street light and very risk to drive in the night. According to reports daily revenue collection is three million. At least now the authorities need to lit the highway before the next accident since ministers are also travelling other than ordinary people.

    DW Saturday, 27 January 2024 07:13 PM

    If you find it difficult to drive on that highway without street lights then you will either have to get prescription glasses or get professional driver training. Obviously, you haven't driven on European motorways where the speed limit is 130km/h and no lights at night in some areas.

    Tissa Fernando Monday, 29 January 2024 01:27 AM

    Thousands of drivers use this highway everyday without any issue by driving at the recommended speed of 80 to 100kmph. The minister's vehicle was driven at 150kmph as per media reports. I have seen myself when using the highway, some people were driving past our vehicle in seconds so they must be driving at 150 to 200 kmph . In Dubai they have 6 lanes wide highways and the maximum speed limit is 120kmph and these highways are well lit so you could see the road miles ahead clearly. Since they have installed speed cameras at every kilometer along the highway, the 99% of drivers do not exceed the speed limit. The Sri Lankan highways are having 2 lanes so these are not suitable fir excessive speeds like this. But the ministerial power and need to save time to rebuild the country probably requires them to drive at double the speed limit.

    Jayantha Saturday, 27 January 2024 12:07 PM

    Foolish idea. Why dont you go for solar lamps. Trying to rob public money by minister once again exposed here.

    Tissa Fernando Monday, 29 January 2024 01:18 AM

    My friend , the existing lamp posts are not solar ready. You need to install sufficient and powerful solar panels and a battery pack that stores energy for 12 hours of lighting. It requires massive capital outlay. But I agree with you that it is the best solution.

    Karu Saturday, 27 January 2024 12:37 PM

    If the darkness is the problem in the express way, then drive bit slowly idxxts......You can't fix high number of accidents 'till fixing own mind.

    Vernon Saturday, 27 January 2024 01:08 PM

    Yes darkness is not the main problem. Most of these heavy trucks, their rear lights are not working. Several similar accidents have taken place on straight roads in Puttalam and A'pura roads. All heavy vehicles must be regularly checked for all safety devices. It should be made mandatory if a vehicle is stalled in a highway, or stopped in a normal road. A flashing light should be fixed to the rear of the stopped vehicle or use Hazard lights. If Hazard lights are not available, another flasher light should be available to be fixed behind the stalled vehicle.

    Punchi Saturday, 27 January 2024 03:04 PM

    Have a policy like a TIN number required for sellers to be produced when selling scap metal. This may curb trade in stolen scrap metal

    Paramanathan K Saturday, 27 January 2024 03:24 PM

    For decades, most of the street lights in Colombo and its suburbs have remained unlit. It is surprising to note that all the expressways are unlit in the nights. It is both a crime and perilously unsafe to turn off street lights on expressways during the night. The top officials of the Road Development Authority (RDA) are foolish to disregard this reality, especially considering that a significant portion of air traffic occurs during the early hours when vehicles are traveling at speeds of 100 km per hour. Such conditions do not present an encouraging environment to promote tourism. Dimmed street lights convey a negative impression to those visiting the country for the first time. It is imperative that the government addresses this matter with utmost seriousness.

    Kick these scumbags out Saturday, 27 January 2024 03:35 PM

    A drunk useless politician dies and suddenly our roads need fixing? What a bunch of lowlifes.

    Hiruni Saturday, 27 January 2024 03:37 PM

    These scum only think of it when one of their own die.. typical Sri Lankan politicians

    Namal Saturday, 27 January 2024 03:38 PM

    For once Bandula Gunawardena uncaring inefficiency resulted in a good thing.

    Ganesh Saturday, 27 January 2024 03:40 PM

    Plots only when one of their own does will these numbskull politicians wake up. Moreover DMV should stop people from modifying cars. Every year vehicles should be checked for road worthiness. Cars have curtains.

    COUNTRY'S DARKEST HOURS Saturday, 27 January 2024 04:05 PM

    It appears that no lighting may have also been the cause of Rs.250 million worth of copper wire being stolen, what may I ask were the staff who monitor the cameras along the Express Way doing during their shifts? probably got paid for sleeping. The authority responsible for maintaining the Express Way should be held accountable and the Toll Company too. Rs.250 million worth of copper stolen!!! what a joke. We need a whole SHAKE UP OF THE GOVERNMENT AND ALL PUBLIC OFFICES. SIMILAR TO THE DRUG ISSUES IN THE COUNTRY, WHAT THE HELLO WERE AUTHORITIES DOING ALL THESE YEARS? WE HAD TO GET AN ACTING IGP WHO HAS A DARK PAST TO COME IN 6-8 WEEKS AGO TO START THE BALL ROLLING TO TRY AND CLEAN UP THE DRUG TRADE!!.

    Gune Saturday, 27 January 2024 05:40 PM

    It takes for a minister to die before the authorities begin to act. That’s how cheap the average Sri Lankan life has become under this government.

    Mohan Saturday, 27 January 2024 06:17 PM

    A politician had to die for them to take action.

    wsw Monday, 29 January 2024 07:49 AM

    A scoundrel, disguised as a politician voted by ignorant constituents, who had no regard for the law, had to meet his Karma, for the government to notice and act.

    ANNECUNT Saturday, 27 January 2024 06:58 PM

    When the government charge tolls the toll money goes into the ministers pockets

    Root causes Saturday, 27 January 2024 06:59 PM

    Combination of Excessive speed Poorly illuminated highway Vehicle ahead - tail lights in poor condition

    Mohan Saturday, 27 January 2024 08:23 PM

    @Budget: Solar seems to be a good idea, as the battery and wires can be at the top and difficult to be vandalized by drug addicts.

    Jayampathi Saturday, 27 January 2024 08:23 PM

    Even in Kandy Colombo road, street lights off to cut the cost. It is more dangerous than highways as some times it is very difficult see pedestrian on the crossings.

    Gas Saturday, 27 January 2024 08:45 PM

    Well. Somebody is going to make some big money

    Mahesh Pieris Saturday, 27 January 2024 08:51 PM

    To use the highway consumers need to pay in rupees. It's not for free use. So you provide the service. There's nothing to expidite.

    hoodwinker Saturday, 27 January 2024 09:46 PM

    I remember back in 1982, Cyprus [as poor as SL ] had solar powered lights , and I was thinking with 365 days of sunlight what was wrong, and did some research only to find out how the law makers are not allowing imports on solar parts, as they had private generators on full swing to make hay while sunshine! and still it is continuing.

    Anton Saturday, 27 January 2024 09:59 PM

    Cars should be fitted with OSRAM NIGHT BREAKER LIGHT BULBS . It’s legal in the UK. It’s expensive and the white light makes the vision very clear and does not dazzle the opposite vehicle drivers.

    Rip Winkle Saturday, 27 January 2024 10:33 PM

    I hope someone initiates legal action against those responsible for maintaining (including illuminating) the highway. After all, motorists pay a toll to use it

    Lokubanda Tillakaratne Sunday, 28 January 2024 12:14 AM

    Lighting highways is not done in other countries. If lighting is needed through the full length of a highway, then you must illuminate the full length of A1, A2, A3, A4 too? Functioning headlights, good and safe driving habits are we must invest on. Doubling the toll for any vehicle entering the highway between 1-5am will help. Drunk drivers will keep that money to pay the toll. In the US, 4-lane highways go through the desert, mountain passes for hundreds of miles without street lights. Some European countries do that because they are solar powered or have nuclear power. In all countries generally, on-ramps and exit-ramps are lighted to help drivers get acclimated to proper lanes to merge to the proper lane. Lighting a highway full length is the stupidest idea I have heard. Don't get emotional to make rules.

    Fred Sunday, 28 January 2024 03:46 AM

    Lighting yes but also have to go back to basics.Sri Lankans don't observe the rules not just on the roads-in everything. How to enforce the rules. Start with the issue of driving licenses How many can actually drive?

    wsw Monday, 29 January 2024 08:04 AM

    @Fred, I have witnessed on countless occasions, ignorant, undeserving, lawless Sri Lankan drivers, drive on two lanes, cut through when overtaking without even bothering to indicate, drive at snails pace on the right track, constantly keep using mobile phones at excessive speeds in rickety old vehicles, drive in the dark without adequate lighting, the list goes on. Expressways for most Sri Lankans is similar to "casting peals before swine" or in more familiar local terms a "Banda going to town" experience. Hope this attitude and mentality changes, soon.

    Ramesh Sunday, 28 January 2024 04:53 AM

    My doubt is why illumination of roads not included in the original road construction contract? Were they planned this route will only be used in daylight? Or the money allocated for street lights drained to light someone's life? Anything possible in Sri Lanka.

    Lankaputha Sunday, 28 January 2024 06:56 AM

    Wait a minute... 250 KM of high ways.. let's say 50% of it been stolen.. what the heck guard were doing? Given 2 million per KM of copper.. 1000 meters per KM.. 2000 per meter... what sort of copper wire is this?

    Nihal S Sunday, 28 January 2024 07:34 AM

    It is high speed reckless driving that contributed to the event. Even there are lights - these thugs will not see them the way they behave on the public roads. Good to fix lights, but it will not address the route cause. It will be far more effective to conduct an awareness program to the politicians and their drivers.

    Sambo Sunday, 28 January 2024 09:16 AM

    It is not merely the lighting. It is a style of how are supposed to be VVIP are driven a around. For them there is no law and order. They think the country is their personal property and pay the price with their lives.

    Shan Sunday, 28 January 2024 11:52 AM

    Normally expressways has no need of illumination but needs disciplined driving. Its only the E03 illuminated in Sri Lanka and I can't remember I saw any illuminated expressways in overseas, especially Europe. Train people in how to maintain speeds and lanes. Do not allow VERY slow driving (Speeds lower than 60kmph), make sure overtaking lane is used only for overtaking, no left side overtaking etc. Spend money on surveillance systems, cameras, speed controls (I have seen in India overhead indicators will inform the oncoming vehicle in that lane about it's speed and if the speed shown in red, that means an automatic speed ticket is issued), training and TV adds on maintaining speeds, merging and demerging, overtaking, lane discipline and so on. Bring the system of obtaining fitness certificates every year for all vehicles to be eligible for annual revenue licence, penalise the driver and FC issuer if vehicle meet an accident due to mechanical issues and so on.

    Poochie Baba Sunday, 28 January 2024 01:17 PM

    What a lot of stupid comments. As mentioned above DARKNESS is not the cause of accidents on the highway!! Speeding, BAD car lights, drinking, tiredness and or not used to driving on highways is the main problem. Most highways in Europe including Switzerland have no lights!!! Just drive carefully and use brain.

    SOUNDS MONKEY BUSINESS Sunday, 28 January 2024 05:44 PM

    WAITED UNTIL TWO FATAL ACCIDENTS TO START THINKING ABOUT FIXING THE LIGHTING!! MAKES US WONDER WERE THE LIGHTS KEPT OFF FOR THAT LONG IN ORDER TO ALOOW RS. 250 MILLION WORTH OF COPPER WIRE TO BE STOLEN? FOOD FOR THOUGHT.

    raj soma Monday, 29 January 2024 07:51 PM

    Oh, the accidents are due to poor lighting . In SL car's run on candle lights? Now, they want to replace stolen cables , What have been done to protect them in the first place. NOTHING! Our ministers are very smart cookies finding ways to make commissions .


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