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* Kuwait grants Sri Lanka US$ 36 million loan to construct 25 bridges on national road network
Thu, Jan 30, 2014, 10:57 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 30, Colombo: The Kuwaiti Fund for Arabian Economic Development (KFAED) has agreed to provide US$ 36 million loan to Sri Lanka on concessionary terms to construct and rehabilitated 25 bridges on the national road network.

Secretary to the Finance Ministry Dr. P.B. Jayasundara and Deputy Director General of the Kuwaiti Fund for Arabian Economic Development Hesham Al-Waqayan signed the loan agreement today at the Ministry.

The Sri Lankan government in its drive to develop the country's infrastructure has identified the necessity of rehabilitation and improvement of national road network on a priority basis to improve the efficiency of transport services.

Accordingly, the government has assigned high priority for widening and improvement of the dilapidated narrow bridges which have reached their maximum serviceable life.

The government says however, due to the deterioration caused over time by heavy traffic and an adverse environment conditions the old bridges have reduced carrying capacity and need repairs more frequently. Under these conditions, the government has decided to reconstruct the old bridges anew.

According to the government, the construction of new and rehabilitation of old bridges on national roads will increase connectivity among villages and expand opportunities for people.

The project aims to meet the increasing demand for the transport of passengers and goods in the country and to contribute to the economic and social development of the project area. The project also aims to reduce vehicle operation and road maintenance costs, travel time and reduction of accidents.

The funds will be used to construct and rehabilitate 25 bridges in seven provinces, with a length varying from about 7 - 120 meter and a width of about 10 meter consisting of two lanes, and pedestrian shoulders of about 1.3 meter on each side. Under the project 9 bridges in Western Province, 3 bridges in Southern Province, 5 bridges in North Western Province, 4 bridges in Sabaragamuwa Province, 3 bridges in Northern Province and a bridge in Eastern Province will be reconstructed.

The funds will also be utilized for site preparation, construction of foundation, substructure, and superstructure including pavement, drainage, road approaches, and safety measures, institutional support and consultancy services for preparation of tender documents, and the supervision of the construction of works.

The total cost of the project is estimated at about Rs. 5.519 Billion and the KFAED loan will cover about 77% of the total cost and the Sri Lankan government will provide the remaining funds.

The Kuwait Fund extends Loans on concessionary term to finance development projects in the developing countries and it has extended US$ 196 million since 1975 with concessional terms and conditions for the development of Sri Lanka.

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