State Minister of Urban Development, Coast Conservation, Waste Disposal and Community Cleanliness, Dr. Nalaka Godahewa said his office proposed to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to take steps to develop light rails in Colombo, a project that has been on paper for a long time.
There were four light rail lines proposed to be developed in Colombo, and the Malambe-Colombo line, which was planned to be implemented with Japanese financial assistance, was scrapped on instructions by the Finance Ministry due to the high cost involved.
“It does not mean we have totally abandoned light rail projects. There are three more lines. We requested the Prime Minister to see how we can proceed with them. That has to be done in consultation with the Finance Ministry,” he stated.
He also said the Malambe-Colombo light rail was costly.
“It cost more than US $ 2 billion. It is a loan. When the rupee value depreciates, the cost of debt servicing increases,” he stated.