The Sri Lankan government has announced their plans to establish a light rail transit system (LRT) in Colombo, that will be operational by 2025. SRI LANKA’s Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development announced on July 1 2018, that land acquisition has begun for the first light metro line in Colombo following the completion of a feasibility study commissioned by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
A rapid transit system to be set up via light rail transit technology, coming under the proposals formulated by the Western Region Megapolis Plan (MTMP) for 2030 of the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development, was approved by Cabinet on Tuesday (27 March).
A promotional video is been launched by state to promote the programme
For the construction of the two priority lines, the Government has sought funding for the projects from the Japanese Government in the form of an Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan under the Special Term for Economic Partnership.
The Sri Lankan government expects to conclude a $US 1.7bn loan with Jica by the end of the year, which will fully-finance the project. The 0.1%-interest loan will have a 40-year repayment term and a 12-year grace period.
Construction is due to begin in 2020 with commercial operations expected to start by 2024. According to estimates, by 2035 the number of passengers in the main transport corridors with the Colombo Metropolitan Region will rise from 1.9 million to 4.5 million.