Railway service is critical, requires significant investments to run efficiently

Colombo, May 28 (Daily Mirror) - The railway service in the country is currently in a critical situation, and efficient train usage requires significant investments, Cabinet Spokesman and Transport Minister Bandula Gunawardana said.

Addressing the media, he said that rail tracks need to be replaced every five years, with coastal railway lines requiring even more frequent changes.

"The necessary funds for purchasing railway lines, compartments, and sleepers have been obtained through foreign loan facilities," he said.

"The most recent loan was obtained from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to purchase 10,000 rail tracks for the railway service. The Northern Railway Line is being renovated under the Indian Credit Line facility. If we do not manage our loan repayments properly, we will not be able to use trains efficiently even if we want to," Minister Gunawardana said.

Therefore, Sri Lanka hopes to discuss with the Indian government the possibility of obtaining 20 train engines at a concessionary price or as a donation, he said.

"We cannot acquire train engines through loan facilities, as no country or government will provide us with loans until our loan system is restructured," the Minister said.

"Therefore, we should thank the Railway Department engineers and technicians for operating the existing trains that are more than 50 years old," the Minister said.

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