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India, Sri Lanka sign contract to upgrade 130 km long railway track

ANI | Updated: Jul 18, 2019 22:30 IST

New Delhi [India], July 18 (ANI): India and Sri Lanka on Thursday signed a USD 91.26 million contract to upgrade 130 kilometres long railway track connecting Maho and Omanthai town of the Island Nation.
The agreement was signed between IRCON International Limited and Government of Sri Lanka under the Indian Concessional Financing Scheme, a statement by the Indian High Commission in Colombo read.
The agreement includes the upgradation of 12 crossing stations, seven halt stations, and 78 level crossings between Maho and Omanthai. The statement noted that this would be the first upgradation of this 130-kilometre long railway line in over a hundred years.
The project is expected to double the speed potential of railway track from the current speed of 60 km to 120 km per hour, as well as reduce its maintenance cost. In addition, it will improve the travel comfort of passengers and contribute to the modernisation of Sri Lankan railways.
"The contract agreement was signed by Sunil Kumar Choudhury, Chairman & Managing Director, IRCON International Limited and LP Jayampathy, Secretary, Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation of Sri Lanka, in the presence of Arjuna Ranatunga, Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation of Sri Lanka," the statement read.
India has so far committed lines of credit worth around USD 1.3 billion for the development of the Railway sector in Sri Lanka. The restoration of arterial railway lines, connecting the North and the South after decades of conflict, was undertaken under Indian concessional financing.
The tsunami-affected Southern Railway line was also upgraded under the Indian Line of Credit. India has so far upgraded around 300 kilometres of railway track and provided modern signalling and telecommunication system for around 330 kilometres of track in Sri Lanka.
Thursday's agreement is in line with India's efforts to partner with Sri Lanka for people-oriented connectivity projects in the Island Nation. (ANI)