ECONOMYNEXT – A newly revived plan to build a bridge between India and Sri Lanka has been discussed during a visit by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, a media report said.
The Press Trust of India, a news agency citing unnamed official source said Nitin Gadkari Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping has called on Wickremesinghe to discuss the 5.1 billion US dollar bridge which the Asian Development Bank has agreed to finance.
Wickremesinghe proposed the building of the bridge during his last term in office which ended in 2004, when a BJP led administration was ruling India.
The bridge is part of a trans Asia highway and rail network mooted more than half a century ago.
The report said the proposal involves a 22 kilometre bridge and a tunnel running from India’s Dhanushkodi to Mannar in Sri Lanka.
The bridge features in the Indian epic Ramayana as having being built by Hanuman, a giant ape-man to travel to the island.
The PTI report said secretary level talks on the bridge may be held in Sri Lanka.
India has also recently signed agreements with Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal to allow motor vehicles to travel between countries. (Colombo/Sept16/2015)