July 29, Colombo: Following the conclusion of a visit by a high level delegation of the Japanese Government Thursday, the Sri Lankan government has confirmed that Japan is willing to fund the Light Rail Transit (LRT) system proposed in the Megalopolis Development plan.
"The delegation, led by Hirofumi Katase the Vice Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry of the Government of Japan confirmed their government's willingness to finance Sri Lanka's landmark project on deeply concessional terms," Ministry of Megapolis and Western Region development said in a statement.
Japan and Sri Lanka held the Consultation on National Development Cooperation and the Economic Policy Dialogue on Wednesday in Colombo. The meetings focused on ways to assist Sri Lanka's national development plan and to promote trade and investment between the two countries.
"The two governments have agreed to expedite the detailed technical feasibility in order to initiate the physical implementation of the LRT as soon as possible," the statement said.
The decision was conveyed following high level discussions with Sri Lanka Government officials on 26th of July, followed by a meeting with the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on the 27th.
"Confirmation of support from Japan for this critical investment under the Megapolis plan marks a major milestone," said Ajita de Costa, chairman of the Western Region Megapolis Project.
"We can now put the debate on monorail vs. LRT behind us, and move forward aggressively to get this project implemented. We are confident of delivering an efficient and lasting mass transit solution for the city, backed by Japan's commitment to quality."
The Cabinet last month approved the Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka's proposal to obtain the assistance of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to construct a light rail transit system in the capital city of Colombo.
The transport committee has identified LRT as the most suitable technology and the LRT also have the advantage of lower operations costs and does not pose incurred higher costs on switching as in monorail.