May 22, Colombo: Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has mooted a set of proposals to transform Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) into a profit-earning and leading entity.
The President is of the view that SLTB could be evolved into a state organization that can contribute to the national coffers instead of seeking funds from it, the President’s Media Division said.
During a discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat Thursday to review the current status of SLTB, the President commented that there is heavy traffic congestion on roads during morning and evening hours of weekdays and highlighted the necessity of attracting those who are traveling to work in their own vehicles to the public transport system.
As a remedy to ease the traffic congestion President proposed to immediately implement Park and Drive method. He said to add buses with required facilities to the existing fleet.
A dedicated school bus service for children should be promoted while giving priority to the safety of children, the President said. It was discussed to paint the school busses in yellow and give preference to school buses on roads. President Rajapaksa emphasized the importance of color coding for private and SLTB buses.
Appropriate measures to encourage employees, new strategies, minimize wastage and put an end to corruption were the other areas that came under discussion during the session. In addition, the President highlighted the necessity of conducting regular assessments and researches with regard to the improvement of the institute.
He added that around 4500 highly-skilled mechanics are working for the SLTB and their expertise could be utilized for outside maintenance work thereby earning an additional income for the government.
President pointed out that the SLTB possesses unutilized land across the country and proper management of them could earn an extra income too.
President Rajapaksa added that the SLTB is capable of transporting agricultural crops from remote areas to the suburbs benefitting both farmers and the consumers equally. He went on to note the significance of improving the standards of Training Schools and enhancing the knowledge of the employees at Training Schools simultaneously.
President Rajapaksa advised the entire process should move forward with short, mid and long term strategies.
Secretary to the President, P.B Jayasundera, Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Transport Board, Kingsley Ranawaka, CEO, Sagara Heman Waduge, Director General (Public Enterprises), Athula Kumara, including several other Director Board members were present at the meeting.