Sri Lanka boots out foreign contractors building 76km Highway and hands over job to locals

ECONOMYNEXT- The Cabinet has decided to revoke all the agreements signed with foreign contractors relating to the construction of the ‘Ruwanpura’ expressway signed by the previous government, said Co-Cabinet Spokesman Bandula Gunawardena.

The Ruwanpura Expressway will run from Kahathuduwa to Pelmadulla with interchanges at Ingiriya and Rathnapura, the expressway covers a distance of 76 km.

He said that the project which was originally started back in 2014 under President Mahinda Rajapaksa was given to foreign contractors by the previous government with high costs.

Gunawardena said the cabinet has decided to start the work of the expressway by means of using only local loans as funding and handing the construction work over exclusively to local contractors.

By doing so, he said that the government intend to provide more opportunities to local contractors and stop the flow of money out of the country.

Further, he said that engineers have estimated that by constructing the expressway through local contractors would reduce overall costs compared to handing the work to foreign contractors.

Accordingly, Gunawardena said that the government will split several sections expressway with each section amounting to 6-10 Km and handover the construction of the expressway to 10 main local contractors where those contractors will further split their section and handover work to small scale, local contractors.

He also added that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has informed the subject Minister Johnston Fernando to commence the construction work and complete the section from Kahathuduwa to Ingiriya before the end of this year. (Colombo/July2/2020)

Reported by Imesh Ranasinghe