All of Sri Lanka’s expressways are to be managed by a State owned entity soon. Accordingly, the government will establish a company solely owned by the Secretary to the Treasury with all the expressways being taken under this state entity, official sources said.
The proposed company is eligible to collect funds by itself for the construction of expressways enabling it to collect the income generated from those using the expressways as well as the income generated from other income-generating means related to it, a senior official revealed.
President Rajapaksa's national policy framework, “The Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour”, clearly recognises the vitality of the existence of an interconnected highway network as a major factor for economic development strategies, he added.
Therefore, the rural byways project covering 100,000 kilometers is being implemented while the government has given priority to complete the construction work of the Central expressway, inauguration of the Ruwanpura expressway construction work as well as completion of construction activities of the elevated expressway from Kelaniya to Athurugiriya.
It is apparent that approximately 0.5% – 01% of the gross domestic product should be allocated for the financing of the expressways already under construction and scheduled to be constructed, said the document released by the Department of Government Information.
Construction of segments from Kadawatha to Kurunegala via Mirigama, Kurunegala to Dambulla and Pothuhera to Galagedara of the Central Expressways needs to be expedited, he said.
Once the expressway from Kadawatha to Dambulla is completed, access to Northern, Eastern and Western provinces will become convenient.
Construction of the 76 km long road from Ingiriya to Ratnapura will also be expedited. Accelerating the construction of tunnel roads in Kandy will resolve the traffic congestion in the area. Flyovers and tunnel passways will be constructed at identified locations where the traffic congestion is heavy.
Furthermore, the possibility of constructing a road from Wanathamulla to Battaramulla should be explored. This will be a solution to the traffic congestion in Borella and Rajagiriya.
The Highways ministry has highlighted the importance of extending the Marine drive which runs parallel to Galle road up to Panadura.