Sept 28, Colombo: Sri Lanka will go ahead with the plan to import 3,000 buses for its state transportation sector despite objections from the private bus owners.
Minister of Transport, Kumara Welgama has said that the government is conducting discussions with China to import 3,000 new buses as the Sri Lanka Transportation Board bus fleet is over 15 years old.
Addressing a function in Avissawella yesterday to add four new trains to the Kelani Valley Line, the Minister has asserted that no one can stop the plans to import the buses from China.
According to the Minister out of the 7,662 SLTB buses 2,916 are not roadworthy. The majority of the buses is over 15 years old and used to the maximum and the SLTB is provided 510 million rupees each month for its operations.
"The SLTB has only 2500 buses that are seven years old. All the others have been in operation for the past 15, 20 or 30 years. Are we to keep repairing these old buses?" the Minister has asked.
Minister Welgama has said that the government is planning to get 3,000 new buses to replace the 3,500 old buses although private bus associations have threatened to launch strikes.
"How else could we provide a decent service," the Minister has questioned.