India, Sri Lanka discuss issues regarding Rail Network development

Narendra Modi inaugurating Train from Thalaimannar Peer in Sri Lanka during his visit
File Pic: Prime Minister of India Mr.Narendra Modi flagging off a train service at Talaimannar in Sri Lanka on Saturday the 14 March 2015

New Delhi: India and Sri Lanka on Tuesday discussed various issues regarding overall development of railway network including upgradation of signalling and telecommunication system in the island nation.

Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha and Sri Lanka’s Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama discussed a range of issues regarding the development of railway network.

India has been extending concessional Line of Credit (LoC) to Sri Lanka to support various projects in the infrastructure sector including Railways. Till date, more than USD 1 billion of LoC has been extended to Sri Lanka for various railway projects.

During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Colombo in March 2015, a fresh Line of Credit of US $ 318 million for railway sector projects was announced.

“Sri Lanka has proposed to use the fresh LoC for purchase of six diesel multiple units (DMU), each with two power cars and 12 coaches (US $ 106 million) 160 passenger coaches (US $ 62 million) and track materials to rehabilitate around 150 km of Railway track (US $ 150 million),” said an official statement.

Using some of the concessional credit extended to Sri Lanka, Indian Railways’ PSU IRCON wants to upgrade the Anuradhapur-Omanthai section of the railway line in the Northern Province. It also wishes to upgrade Maho-Anuradhapura section, including new signalling and telecommunication works, an official release said.

India also expressed its willingness to construct a new railway line from Trincomalee to Medawachchiya in Sri Lanka, estimated to be around $300 million.

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