A contract agreement for around US$ 91.26 million for upgrading of railway track
from Maho to Omanthai under Indian concessional financing was signed between
IRCON International Limited and Government of Sri Lanka in Colombo on 18 July 2019.
The contract agreement was signed by Mr. Sunil Kumar Choudhury, Chairman &
Managing Director, IRCON International Limited and Mr. L.P.Jayampathy, Secretary,
Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation of Sri Lanka, in the presence of Hon. Arjuna
Ranatunga, Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation of Sri Lanka. Mr. M.J. D. Fernando,
General Manager, Sri Lanka Railways Mr. S. L. Gupta, ED, IRCON, International
Limited and Ms. Suja K. Menon, Head of Economic & Commercial Wing, High
Commission of India were also present.
The total length of the track that will be upgraded under Indian concessional
financing between Maho to Omanthai would be around 130 km. This includes 12
crossing stations, 7 halt stations and 78 level crossings. This is the first time the track is
being upgraded in 100 years. This project would double the speed potential of railway
track from the current around 60 km to 120 km per hour, as well as reduce the
maintenance costs. It will also improve the travel comfort of passengers, and further
contribute to the modernization Sri Lanka Railways.
India has so far committed Lines of Credit worth around US$ 1.3 billion for
development of railway sector in Sri Lanka. The restoration of arterial railway lines,
connecting the North and the South after decades of conflict, was undertaken under
Indian concessional financing. The tsunami-affected Southern Railway line was also
upgraded under Indian Line of Credit. India has so far upgraded around 300 km of
railway track and provided modern signaling & telecommunication system for around
330 km in Sri Lanka.
In June 2017, India signed a fresh Line of Credit Agreement for US $ 318 million
for the development of railway sector in Sri Lanka. Under this Line of Credit, other
projects that are underway include procurement of 160 passenger coaches upgradation
of signal & telecommunication system from Maho to Anuradhapura and setting up of a
Railway Workshop in Rathmalana etc.
Procurements of rolling stock from India are also underway including 6 DMUs, 10 locomotives, 20 container carrier wagons, 30 fuel tank wagons, 160 passenger coaches, and 500 buses. India has also contributed substantially to capacity building of Sri Lankan railway personnel.
This project is in continuation of India’s efforts to partner with Sri Lanka in
people-oriented connectivity projects in Sri Lanka.