Saturday, 14 July 2018 09:04

LRT feasibility study gets Cabinet green-light

The Cabinet has given the go ahead for a proposal to sign a loan agreement amounting to Japanese Yen 206,106 million with Japan to fund the Light Rail Projects (LRT) from Colombo Fort to Battaramulla and Malabe, while approving the two feasibility studies carried out.

Cabinet Spokesperson Gayantha Karunathilaka said this week the loan will be granted following the Government’s request for an Official Development Assistance Loan under the Special Term for Economic Partnership (STEM), the proposal submitted by the Megapolis and Western Development Ministry said.

The estimated total cost of the project totals at Yen 253 billion, with Japan funding up to Yen 206 billion through JICA, while Sri Lanka will be funding the remaining cost totalling at Yen 47 billion.

Out of the seven LRTs that have been proposed, two lines connecting from Colombo Fort with other main centres and extending to Battaramulla and Malabe are being developed on priority basis, subject Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka told the Cabinet. The two lines are to be constructed as elevated lines, due to the high density of development in the area.

JICA had conducted a preparatory survey with MMWD cooperation to come up with a feasibility study for the project. Based on findings of the final report of the preparatory survey, a new light rail transit system in Colombo, with a length of 17km from Malabe to the Multi Modal Transport Hub at Fort, consisting of 16 stations and a depot, has been declared feasible. The Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) too is at a final stage, and the Resettlement Action Plan has also been completed by the Project Management Unit and submitted to JICA for their concurrence.

Minister Ranawaka has informed the Cabinet that the loan should be signed by end of 2018, and that JICA expects to complete detail design in 2019, with plans to commence civil work in 2020. Commercial operations are expected to start by 2025.

The loan is to be provided at a concessionary rate of 0.1% per annum for civil works and procurement of equipment and 0.01% per annum for consultancy services, with 0.2% of the loan amount as fronted free. The repayment period of the loan is 40 years, including a grace period of 12 years.


(FT)

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