Megapolis project faces further delays
Modernizing public transport was an urgent need:
Disagreements among the key stakeholders and internal squabbles are
blocking the progress of the much-awaited Megapolis project, the
Business Observer learns.
Despite Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s keen interest to
expedite the process, things are not happening, an official close to the
The main objectives of the megapolis project include creating jobs,
spread industries and strengthening public service across the province,
thereby giving people the opportunity to comfortably live and work in
their native areas without travelling to Colombo for their daily chores.
Introducing modern and convenient rail and bus services within the
megapolis and comfortable transport services to connect the megapolis
hub with the rest of the country will be the first concern the expert
team has recommended as a first priority.
Transport experts said that modernizing public transport was an
urgent need to take cars off the roads, particularly during morning and
evening rush hours.
They had proposed giving priority to a relatively lower cost Bus
Rapid Transit (BRT) system where modern buses travel on dedicated lanes,
offering fast, comfortable services which can be implemented more
quickly than rail.
However, the implementation of megapolis transport plan got delayed
due to disagreements among government officials and the experts. Some of
the experts opted to skip discussions at a latter point.
“The roads in Colombo and the suburbs are getting increasingly jammed
with vehicles,” said one transport expert.
The Cabinet of Ministers on April 25, 2015 approved the proposal to
set up the Western Region Megapolis Plan (WRMPP) with the objective of
transforming the Western Province into a vibrant megapolis by 2030 and
make it the most vibrant and livable cosmopolitan smart city in South
The project will also outline instructions for all future development
projects in an effort to maintain the uniformity and sustainability of