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* Sri Lanka gets US$ 67.4 million credit from India to upgrade Southern railway line
Wed, Mar 10, 2010, 08:51 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 10, Colombo: The Government of Sri Lanka and Export-Import Bank of India today signed a US$ 67.4 million Line of Credit Agreement to upgrade the Southern coastal railway line from Colombo to Matara.

Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Planning Dr. P.B. Jayasundara and Executive Director of the Exim Bank of India Prabhakar Dalal signed the agreement in the presence High Commissioner of India in Colombo Ashok K. Kantha today in Colombo.

This Line of Credit will fund the second phase of the upgradation of the Southern railway line. Indian government had earlier provided a credit line of US$ 100 million under an agreement signed in July 2008 for the first phase of the upgradation that is currently being implemented.

A press release issued by the Indian High commission in Colombo said the second phase of the project will inclde supply of materials for rail track rehabilitation from Colombo to Matara and execution of work for rail track rehabilitation from Kalutara to Matara which is being implemented by IRCON (I) Limited.

In addition, the Line of Credit is also being used for supply of 20 sets of Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs), three units of locomotives, spare parts for the existing M8 class locomotives, supply of plant and machinery for maintenance of existing DMUs and construction of maintenance sheds at Aluthgama, Galle, and Colombo by RITES India Limited.

The Upgradation Project would allow the trains to travel on the Colombo Matara sector at speeds up to 100 kmph. It will increase the average operating speed from 40 kmph to 80 kmph allowing a passenger express train to cover the Colombo-Galle distance approximately within 2 hours.

The supply of DMUs and locomotives would also increase the train capacity and the frequency of trains, alleviating the existing constraints in this regard on the Colombo-Matara sector.

(Picture courtesy of High Commission of India)

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