News

Extending southern railway line to Hambanthota

  • Awaiting Cabinet okay for feasibility study
By Sarah Hannan
The Sri Lanka Railways (SLR) railroad extension plan for the Matara-Beliatta route up to Hambantota was put on hold awaiting the Cabinet’s decision to recommence all development work.

“We were requested to cease all project work until a decision is reached by the Cabinet and the portfolio Ministry.

“Once we get a go ahead, we will roll out the primary stage of the project work by handing over the feasibility study of the earmarked area,” SLR General Manager M.J.D. Fernando told The Morning.

According to Fernando, it would take at least close to three years to complete the feasibility study, as the project team will have to draw up a plan pertaining to which route the tracks would be laid and at which points they would appoint railway stations.

“The project will involve several stakeholders who will need to work in parallel to ensure that the extension becomes a reality,” Fernando added.

The project will require land acquisition in certain areas which will involve relocating residents and businesses, and listing the overall estimation for the project including compensation schemes to the parties that would lose land.

Furthermore, SLR noted that the project can only get off the ground based on the decisions that will be made by the Cabinet of Ministers that will be appointed following the parliamentary election.