Rs. 1 b earmarked for Kandy development
By Uditha Jayasinghe
Cabinet last week approved around Rs. 65 billion worth of infrastructure development, including a massive Rs. 1 billion project to upgrade Kandy.
Titled the Kandy City Development Plan, the proposal made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, in his capacity as the Minister of Defence and Urban Development, will be completed in two phases.
Under Phase I improvements are planned to the road network from Peradeniya to Katugastota by providing a four-lane facility with overhead bridges and tunnels where necessary. The other elements will be construction of pedestrian walkway from Kandy Railway Station area to the Clock Tower Bus Stand area, improvements to the Clock Tower Bus Stand, relocation of trade stalls along the station road to effect the road improvement and construction of a walkway around Kandy Lake. A public car park above the railway line at Wadugodapitiya Street has also been planned.
A whopping Rs. 64 billion will be acquired from local banks for the construction of roads with Cabinet giving approval for the Government to underwrite the loans. The aim, according to a Cabinet handout, is to finance highways through domestic funding.
The proposal, made also made by the President, in his capacity as the Minister of Ports and Highways, is to include all national highways approved for rehabilitation under one list under this program and select them to be developed on a priority basis.
Cabinet approval was also given under this project to call for technical and financial proposals from domestic contractors for the rehabilitation of 716.51 km of such roads. The obtaining of funds for the purpose through local banks with Treasury guarantees was approved by the Cabinet.