Final decision on inter-provincial transport by Friday
BY Buddhika Samaraweera
The Ministry of Transport has tentatively planned to resume inter-provincial transport services from 1 August, and the final decision in this regard would be taken at the meeting of the National Operations Centre for Prevention of Covid-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) to be held on either Thursday or Friday.
This is because the resumption of inter-provincial transport services is subject to the approval of the NOCPCO and other health authorities.
When contacted by The Morning, Minister of Transport Gamini Lokuge said: “It is planned to operate inter-provincial transport services following all health guidelines. This requires the permission of the NOCPCO, and we are ready to operate transport services whenever its approval is granted.”
Inter-provincial transport services were resumed to facilitate those travelling for essential services from 14 July, but three days later, on 17 July, the Transport Ministry again suspended such services.
When asked about the preparations being taken for the resumption of inter-provincial train services, Sri Lanka Station Masters’ Union (SLSMU) General Secretary Kasun Chamara said that train services are ready to resume at any time. He added that hand sanitising liquids, facemasks, and other facilities have been made available at railway stations to ensure the health and safety of railway station staff.
Meanwhile, the Department of Railways has taken steps to resume train services on the Northern Line after 72 days.
Accordingly, arrangements have been made to run one train daily from Kankesanthurai Railway Station to Vavuniya Railway Station from today (26). The train will leave from Kankesanthurai to Vavuniya at 5.15 a.m. and from Vavuniya to Kankesanthurai at 5 p.m.