Priority for new light railway system
Dec 23, 2016 – Priority has been given by Budget 2017 to ease road traffic congestion in Colombo, Finance Minister (FM) Ravi Karunanayake said.
One of the main concerns of the plan is to identify entry entry points to the city and start a light railway system from each point.This new light railway system will cover the main suburbs including Borella, Kottawa, Battaramulla, Kaduwela, Maradana, Mattakkuliya, Peliyagoda, Dematagoda, Kadawatha, Bambalapitiya and Kirulapone.
The minister points out that an alternative system should be introduced soon as an additional number of vehicles are daily put into public roads.
The minister stated this during a recent meeting held with ministry officials to discuss the implementation of 2017 budget proposals.Plans are already afoot to launch the construction of two new roads, one between New Kelani Bridge and Athurugiriya and, the second road between
Kelani Bridge and the Colombo Port next year. In addition, Budget 2017 has proposed a mechanism to streamline public bus service within city limits.Under this mechanism,the Colombo Municipal Council, in collaboration with the Road Development Authority will introduce separate lanes for public buses.
Another project will be launched to upgrade the existing railway lines to reduce the number of buses entering daily to the city.Accordingly, Kelani Valley Railway line will be extended up to Ratnapura and an additional line will be constructed between Polgahawela and Kurunegala.
The vehicle speed limit within Colombo was between 40 to 60 kilometers per hour in 1980 but it has currently been reduced to 8 kilometers per hour.
It is predicted that this speed limit will further be reduced to 6 kilometers by 2020. The main reason for this is the increasing number of vehicles.
The total vehicle population in Sri Lanka was 3,390,993 in 2008. It rose up to 6,302,141 in 2015. The length of A and B grade roads in the country is 12,173 kilometers. 250 thousand vehicles daily enter the Colombo city and this number annually increases by 25,000.