COLOMBO : In line with India’s continuing commitment to assist Sri Lanka in the development of its railway infrastructure, a consignment of 20 railway passenger coaches supplied by Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES) Ltd, reached Colombo Port on September 17, 2021. This consignment is a part of the contract to supply 160 passenger coaches to Sri Lanka Railways, funded under an Indian Line of Credit of USD 318 million. The value of this contract is USD 82.6 million.
With this consignment, a total of 60 coaches out of 160 have been supplied to Sri Lanka and 20 more coaches are ready to be shipped from India. It may be recalled that the first lot of passenger coaches had arrived Sri Lanka in March 2021, following which requisite trials were conducted. These State-of-the-Art ‘India-made’ modern passenger coaches have been custom made and built as per the requirements of Sri Lanka Railways.
Under the Line of Credit of USD 318 million, RITES Ltd is also scheduled to supply 2 AC diesel multiple units (DMU) to Sri Lanka Railways. The first AC DMU set (13 coaches) is ready for shipment from India and is waiting for nomination of ship by Sri Lanka. Other projects under this line includes Up-gradation of the Railway Line from Maho to Omanthai (128 kms), Maho-Anuradhapura Signalling project, Double Tracking of Railway Line from Polgahawela to Kurunegala etc.
It may be noted that RITES Ltd has previously supplied 6 DMUs (contract completed in October 2019) and 10 Diesel Locomotives Railways (contract completed in June 2020) to Sri Lanka, funded under a separate Line of Credit.
India’s overall development assistance to Sri Lanka is close to USD 3.5 billion. This includes projects/initiatives under Lines of Credit as well as grant. Development of railway infrastructure in Sri Lanka is a sector of special focus, in line with the priorities of the Government and people of Sri Lanka. In this connection, reconstruction of railway lines (268 Kms), installation of signal and telecommunication system (330 Kms), up gradation of coastal railway line (118 Kms) have already been completed. Various other projects are at different stages of implementation.