ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lanka's John Keells Holdings it will continue to maintain and preserve a historic railway station in the capital Colombo near its headquarters
"JKH renewed its 16-year public private partnership with Sri Lanka Railways for the refurbishment and maintenance of the Slave Island Railway Station," the firm said in a statement.
Sri Lanka Railways General Manager M. J. D. Fernando and JKH Deputy Chairman Gihan Cooray exchanged signed agreements on July 29.
The British built the Slave Island Railway Station in 1878, when William Henry Gregory was the Governor of British Ceylon.
JKH said that it is committed to refurbish and preserve the building's Victorian architecture, and modernize the level crossing, bridge and other amenities within the station for easy, safe and clean usage for thousands of passengers.
Slave Island got its name during the British occupation and originates from the Portuguese and Dutch period of administration when slaves, mostly African, were brought to the area.
Since then, the area has become a commercial hub with offices, hotels and eating houses.
JKH subsidiary Ceylon Cold Stores Plc and other warehouses of the 19th century were built around the railway station.
The JKH head offices were also located in Slave Island in the 20th century, until their relocation in 2013 to make room for the group's flagship 805 million US dollar mixed development project Cinnamon Life, which is marketed as a city within a city. (Colombo/Aug08/2019).