Indian Railways’s engineering and construction firm IRCON International has signed an agreement with government of Sri Lanka to upgrade it’s 100 years old 130 km-long Maho-Omanthai rail line. The railway line will be upgraded under Indian concessional financing, and this is the first instance that the track is being upgraded in 100 years.
The contract agreement of worth $91.26 million was signed in Colombo.
This agreement also includes gradation and modification of 12 crossing stations, seven halt stations and 78 level crossings.
Presently trains on this line runs with of 40 kmph. The travel time too between Maho and Omanthai is about three hours with a maximum sanctioned speed of 60 kmph.
Up gradation of this rail line will enable the Jaffna bound trains to run at a speed of 120 kmph, providing safe, efficient and comfortable transportation to passengers in the Northern Province. It will also improve the travel comfort of passengers, and further contribute to the modernization Sri Lankan Railways.
This contract is a part of India’s commitment for development of the railway sector in Sri Lanka under Indian concessional financing.
As on date India has already upgraded around 300 km of railway track and provided modern signalling and telecommunication system for around 330 km railway line in Sri Lanka.
In June 2017, India had signed a Agreement of $318 million to develop the development of the railway sector in Sri Lanka. Under this Line of Credit, other projects that are underway include procurement of 160 passenger coaches; upgradation of signal and telecommunication system from Maho to Anuradhapura; and setting up of a Railway Workshop in Rathmalana.