Traffic causes losses of a billion rupees a day
The University of Moratuwa has estimated that around a billion rupees a day is lost in terms of wastage of fuel and time due to the traffic congestion, according to the Government website news.lk.
Patali Champika Ranawaka, the Minister of Megapolis and Western Development stated that this amount exceeds the amount spent on capital expenditure. He further added that there are more than seven million motor vehicles that travel regularly on roads, which has caused traffic congestion.
“During the 70’s and 80’s around 80% of the population used public transport and the SLTB service, which was then very efficient. However, now the situation has changed completely.
Increase in the import of private vehicles causes the current traffic congestion. We need to look at various strategies to address this issue
In 2015, the Ministry of Highways, Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development took measures to come up with a new plan to develop the road networks.
He went on to say that within the next 15 years, the number of commuters would double and we need to come up with a proper plan to cater their transport requirements. With assistance from World Bank, a road is being constructed from the port across the New Kelani Bridge to the Port City. We hope to extend this road to the Fort Multi- purpose Transport Center, connecting the Fort Railway Station and Bus Terminal from next year. This road would also connect from Orugodawatte, Rajagiriya, and Parliament Junctionup to Kaduwela.
We have also planned to build a multi-purpose transport hub in Battaramulla for train, buses and private vehicles. The Minister also noted that the country is in need of proper passenger transport buses and the Ministry of Transport is taking steps in the future to establish a low floor bus service which would be convenient to the public.