July 22, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Project Minister of Ports and Highway Nirmala Kotelawala said that the government has decided to pay compensation and acquire the state and private land within 26 weeks to expedite the construction of the Colombo - Pelmadulla expressway via Ratnapura.
The Project Minister explained that according to the Land Acquisition Act a minimum of 72 weeks is needed to acquire the private land and therefore the Ministry has sought and received the cabinet approval to shorten the time for land acquisition to 26 weeks.
He further explained that the Ministry considers the commercial value of the property as well as the government evaluated value when paying compensation for a private land.
The government has decided to expedite the project and start constructions of the expressway within this year, he said.
The 71.8 kilometer new expressway from Colombo to Pelmadulla via Ratnapura will start from Galanigama interchange of the Southern expressway. Once completed, the motorists will be able to travel from Colombo to Ratnapura in 45 minutes and to Pelmadulla in an hour.