India, a long-term partner in upgrading and modernizing Sri Lankan railways
Being a long-time partner in Sri Lanka's progress, India’s top priority is to upgrade and modernize Sri Lankan railways.
India continues to finance and provide expertise to upgrade and modernise Sri Lanka's railway system.
The latest instance is a project to repair a 128-km stretch of railway track in northern Sri Lanka which was ceremonially launched near Medawachchiya railway station on Sunday (January 8) by Sri Lankan Minister of Transport Bandula Gunawardane and India's High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay.
Indian public sector unit IRCON is upgrading the railway line, which includes ancillary work, from Maho to Omanthai, at a cost of USD 91.27 million under an existing Indian Line of Credit (LOC) of USD 318 million, the Indian High Commission said while providing information about the project.
The launch event was attended by senior members of the Sri Lankan Ministry of Transport, as well as Minister of Fisheries Douglas Devananda, and State Ministers Shehan (Finance) Semasinghe & andSirapala Gamlath (Highways).
In his remarks, Sri Lanka's Transport Minister praised India for its assistance and advocated for increased railroad collaboration between the two nations. On the other hand, High Commissioner Baglay highlighted that India had completed projects worth more than $1 billion in the railroad industry through five Indian LOCs.
He also pointed out the importance of improving connectivity both inside the country and with India in order to increase commerce, tourism, economic advantages, and pilgrimages for the citizens of both nations. He promised to cooperate with Sri Lanka to create environmentally friendly and sustainable transportation options.
India upgrading Sri Lanka's rail system to increase mobility
Even before this project, India had already marked its presence in this sector.
As a long-time partner in Sri Lanka's progress, the government of India has implemented various projects in the island nation using its grant and concessional rate loan programs. One of the top priorities among the several areas of cooperation covered by these facilities has been upgrading and modernising Sri Lanka's railways.
IRCON International, an Indian Railways subsidiary that began operating in Sri Lanka in March 2009, has improved the 115-km-long Southern line and rebuilt the whole 253-km-long network of rail lines in the Northern Province to help modernize Sri Lanka's rail network.
Through the installation of a cutting-edge signaling and communications system on a 330-km section of the Sri Lankan railway line, IRCON has also helped to ensure safety and dependability.
In order to showcase two important aspects of New Delhi's development relationship with the island nation—infrastructure development and country-wide focus—Sri Lanka began an inter-city train service last year utilizing the Diesel Multiple Units purchased from India.
Apart from this, India has also provided multiple trains and sent state-of-the-art railway passenger coaches several times to its Southernmost neighbor, giving momentum to the cooperation between the two countries in the transport sector.