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Temporary halt in train travel likely on Matara-Beliatta strip

12 December 2019 07:10 am - 8     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


The Ministry of Transport is likely to stop trains from travelling on the Matara to Beliatta railway line in the coming weeks after reports surfaced that construction of the new railway tracks by a Chinese company had not been up to standard, the Daily Mirror learns.

In addition, a committee will also be appointed to probe the project which was carried out by a Chinese company who has no previous experience in the construction of railways.

The 26.75 km long Matara-Beliatta railway extension was declared open for the public in April, but it has been reported that within a short span of time, one of the railway bridges has already suffered cracks and the ceiling of a railway building collapsed.

Minister of Transport Mahinda Amaraweera instructed the railway authorities last week to refrain from taking over the newly-constructed railway line without conducting a thorough investigation to see whether the railway tracks match with the standard.

The commuters who use the tracks have complained of irregularities regarding the construction.

The railway extension was financed by the Export-Import Bank of China and the contract was awarded to the China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation.

A major portion of the construction was carried out by China Railway Group 5 (CR5) and Sri Lanka’s Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau (CECB).

The Matara-Beliatta railway line is the first to be constructed in Sri Lanka since 1948, and it includes the longest tunnel and second-longest railway bridge of 1.5 km and 1.04 km, respectively.

The railway line also includes one of the tallest railway bridges, the longest railway tunnel and the most modern railway station building in the country. (JAMILA HUSAIN)

  Comments - 8

  • Siva Thursday, 12 December 2019 08:26 AM

    The cost of the project is not included in the news item. This reminds me of the Zambia Tanzania railway over 2000 miles. Interestingly it was a very slow train. Much slower than other trains running in both Zambia and Tanzania. Finally both countries did not pay the loan .Sri Lankans in Zambia and Tanzania need to collect relavant information and provide it to the Government

    Sachith Thursday, 12 December 2019 09:01 AM

    Here comes yet another tender for repair this track, which is much more higher than building a new road.

    Saradiyal Thursday, 12 December 2019 09:07 AM

    deshapalana paligenim in different way...

    Anmanpan Thursday, 12 December 2019 09:08 AM

    That is a very interesting observation. This contract was signed prior to 2015. Now you are talking. Loans from the EXIM bank and we all know the deals. Ali baba with throw you out soon.

    Sokrates Thursday, 12 December 2019 09:12 AM

    Chinese constructions are always of poor quality and never meet the desired standards. Why is the government still commissioning China with projects and buying their scrap? It can only be due to the bribes that China pays. Politicians will only wake up when a bridge collapses over which a train is driving or the first skyscraper in Port City collapses.

    Anmanpan Thursday, 12 December 2019 09:12 AM

    Oh man. Treading on hot water. Who started this project and who awarded this project. This project too is a white elephant as there are no passengers after Matara. What can one do in Beliatta? This rail line should have been from Matara to Hanbantotha and then on to Kataragama.

    Citizen Thursday, 12 December 2019 09:27 AM

    This contract was given

    Reader Thursday, 12 December 2019 09:32 AM

    Government Railways and their consultant have to take the responsibility and carryout proper examination and stop payments until the works are approved.

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