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* Mega road development projects approved in Sri Lanka
Thu, Sep 3, 2009, 11:54 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Sept 03, Colombo: Sri Lanka Cabinet has granted approval to several road projects in the country to upgrade and rehabilitate the provincial roads in Eastern and Northern regions.

The Cabinet approved a proposal submitted by President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Minister of Finance and Planning to enter into a Financing Agreement with the lending arms of the World Bank, International Development Association (IDA) to borrow Special Drawing Rights 70.6 million equivalent to US$ 105 million for the implementation of the Provincial Roads Projects.

The project plans to upgrade and rehabilitate 200 kilometers of provincial roads in the Uva Province and 100 kilometers of provincial roads in Ampara District in the Eastern Region.

The project, which will begin this month and expected to be completed in five years, is aimed at improving access to social and economic activities in the Eastern and Uva Provinces through the sustainable management of improved road infrastructure, the government declared.

Another proposal submitted by the Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya as the Acting Minister of Finance and Planning received approval from the Cabinet today to enter into a financing agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for a loan of US$ 70 million (Rs. 8 billion) to implement the Eastern and Northern Central Provincial Road Project.

The project at a total estimated cost of US$ 78 million of which US$ 70 million is provided by the ADB and the rest will be borne by the government, will rehabilitate 150 kilometers of provincial roads in the Eastern Province in order to improve the transport system in the Eastern and North Central Provinces.

The proposed rehabilitation includes improvement of road pavements, bridges, drainage, and replacement of culverts of the proposed roads. The project is expected to be implemented by 31st December 2013.

A separate proposal submitted by the President also received the Cabinet approval today to continue the construction work of the 4-lane expressway from Pinnaduwa to Godagama which comes under the Southern Transport Development Project.

Funding for this segment of the highway has been secured from the EXIM Bank of the People's Republic of China.

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