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DateLine Sunday, 25 May 2008

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Facelift for Kandy railway station



Kishu Gomes

Work on the Kandy railway station is in progress with structural developments, drainage system and other renovations taking place. With a major area of the work being already done the project will be completed in early July, Managing Director Chevron Lubricants Lanka PLC, Kishu Gomes said.

He said the company undertook the project since Kandy is an important city for local and foreign tourists who prefer to travel by train.

The scenic beauty, the historical, cultural and religious significance attracts a large number of visitors to the city daily.

"By developing the railway infrastructure and improving facilities commuters could travel comfortably in a shorter time. Commuters spend over three hours to reach Kandy and undergo difficulties to get to their destinations", Gomes said.

Due to the poor drainage system and unreplaced railway tracks, trains cannot run on time on rainy days. A proper drainage system and replacement of railway tracks will help to avoid major delays and ensure smooth functioning.

He said the station is not structured to accommodate a large number of commuters who travel daily to Colombo. Sanitary facilities are not satisfactory and commuters undergo enormous difficulties.

"Chevron Lubricants will maintain the station for two years and will consider developing other key stations in the country depending on the people's response", he said.

Chevron Lubricants invested Rs. 7 million this year to refurbish the station.

A committee has been set up by the Ministry of Transport to monitor the progress of the project and ensure that proper standards are met. When asked about automation, he said though it will be ideal the system adopted by the station does not provide a platform to make alterations.

The objective of the project is to improve the standard of the railway station and provide a hassle-free journey to commuters.

The company has invested Rs. 5 million to re-structure the Out-Door-Patients (OPD) unit of the Matara Hospital with conference and training facilities for doctors.

He said due to high inflation the consumption rate has dropped during the past few months causing hard times for many industries. Inflation hit 29 per cent this month recording the highest in the region.

 

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