ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lankan government has completed a pre-feasibility study on inland water transport in the planned Megapolis urban agglomeration project with Dutch governemnt support and investment proposals will be called soon, an official said.
Inland water transport is an "untouched source” that can support planned improvements in rail nd bus transprot and a new Light Rail System in the Megapolis region covering Colombo and its suburbs, said Dimantha De Silva, Senior Lecturer at the University of Moratuwa and a Megapolis transport planner.
“EOIs (expressions of interest) and RFP (request for proposals) documents have been prepared with Dutch governement help and will be floated very soon,” De Silva told a forum organised by the French embassy in collaboration with the French Agency for Development.
The water transport projects will be on public-private partnership or PPP basis, he said.
The canal network has the advantage of being able to provide east-west transport links, De Silva told the forum which brought together French and Sri Lankan experts in urban development management, transport technologies and planning.
“In Colombo we have a lot of north-south links but very limited east-west links giving commuters limited options,” he said.
But canals cut across some of the main roads, he added.
“People who get off from Fort will be provided a quick link through the east Beira Lake to Union Place with a shuttle servce,” De Silva said.
Canal transport can also be used for tourism during non-peak hours, he said.
(COLOMBO, Feb 28, 2017)