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* Project to build a beltway around Sri Lanka capital given to Chinese company
Thu, Aug 27, 2009, 09:09 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Aug 27, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Cabinet of ministers today approved a project to construct Outer Circular Highway (OCH) around the city of Colombo.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as the Minister of Highways and Road Development submitted a proposal to award the contract for the southern section of the proposed highway to the China Harbour Engineering Company for nearly 25 billion rupees.

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will fund the project.

The Outer Circular Highway has been proposed as a solution to ease the traffic congestion to the capital and encourage development away from the highly populated urban areas in the Western Province to achieve a better balance for growth.

The proposed OCH highway will start from Kerawalapitiya along the Colombo - Katunayake Expressway to link Southern Expressway crossing A-4 highway at Kottawa and the main A-1 Colombo-Kandy highway at Kadawatha.

The OCH will be built in three phases - Kottawa-Kaduwela,Kaduwela-Kadawata and Kadawata-Kerawalapitiya. The southern section proposed to be given to the Chinese company will be the Kaduwaela to Koattawa section.

Once completed, the proposed OCH with access to all the "A" class roads at several interchanges will connect the North and South faster bypassing the congested Colombo City.

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