ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka needs to invest up to 1.7 trillion rupees over the next 20 years to modernise its neglected transport system, according to a study done by transport authorities with foreign expertise.
The investments are needed for bus, rail, monorail, road widening and improvement, and transport demand management systems.
Such a massive sum was required because of the neglect of public transport systems over the past three decades which has led to worsening traffic congestion in urban areas, officials said.
The total investment envisaged will mean spending about 800 billion a year in the next 20 years on transport modernisation.
The study envisages 976 billion rupees of investment from the government, supported by multilateral and bilateral foreign funding, with the rest from the private sector.
The biggest chunk of government investment – 459 billion rupees – will be for rail with 115 billion rupees earmarked for the setting up of a monorail system within the Colombo Metropolitan Region to relieve traffic congestion.
Another 156 billion rupees of government investment will be needed on widening and improving the road network, according to the master plan done by the Ministry of Transport prepared with technical assistance from the Japan International Co-operation Agency.
The main private sector investment envisaged in the plan is in private bus transport followed by investment in the monorail system and road development, according to the strategic plan for transport management in the Colombo Metropolitan Region.
The plan was prepared by the Ministry of Transport with technical assistance from the Japan International Co-operation Agency and reviewed for implementation by the department of transport and logistics management of the University of Moratuwa.
(Colombo/July 20, 2015)