05th March 2012, www.island.lk
The Chinese government has approved a loan of US$ 278.2 million through its Export–Import (Exim) Bank on concessional terms to finance the construction of Matara – Beliatta Section (Phase I) of Matara - Kataragama Railway Extension Project, the ministry of Finance and Planning announced yesterday.
"The Matara – Beliatta Section consists of construction of 26.75 km long single line broad gauge rail track including construction of structures such as culverts, bridges over rivers, viaducts those required over the Nilwala river flood plain, level crossings, underpass boxes, road diversion, 4 numbers of railway stations and functional requirements including construction of railway quarters for staff, earth embankments, cut embankments and ground treatment etc," the Treasury said in statement.
"This is the first Phase of the Matara - Kataragama Railway Extension Project. It is expected to construct the railway line from Beliatta to Hambantota and Hambantota to Kataragama under Phase II and Phase III respectively.
"The construction of the new railway will provide an efficient and environmentally friendly mode of transport to cater increasing demand for transport due to developments in Southern region with the operation of new port and airport at Hambantota.".
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