09th September 2010, www.dailynews.lk, By Ramani Kangaraarachchi
The Korean Government will assist Sri Lanka to upgrade the Colombo- Katunayake railway track with the setting up of the monorail project simultaneously.
BOI Country Officer for Korea K D Jayawardena told Daily News Business that the initial investment will be around USD 50 million for this project which will include improving the signal system and increasing speed and replacing new locomotives and coaches. With the completion of this project, passengers who travel abroad can check-in straight away at the airport which is a huge advantage.
He said there will be ample parking space at central railway stations where people can come to the stations and board the train leaving their vehicles in the park like in other countries.
This will also reduce environmental pollution while reducing cost of fuel on road transport. There will be huge potential for the private sector as Korea is not going to bring manpower other than for technology.
He hoped that engineers and construction companies will have opportunities at the implementation stage of the project. There is no requirement to acquire lands for railway tracks as they will replace the existing tracks.
Jayawardena said the Korean Government pledged that it would look into the every possibility to assist Sri Lanka to achieve this objective in view of the current peaceful and business conducive environment for foreign direct investments.
A three member committee headed by the Railways General Manager has been appointed to follow up this project. The next meeting is scheduled to be held in October in Seoul.
Meanwhile 20 engineers are due to undergo training on the project in Korea shortly.