||Sri Lanka : Colombo Light Rail project to recommence
||Negotiations to recommence the Japanese funded Colombo Light Rail Transport (LRT) System project received the green light from Cabinet after talks were said to have come to a halt, due to the Constitutional crisis in late October of last year.
The Cabinet Paper submitted by Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera, to enter into a loan agreement with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for 200,415 million Yen was granted approval. The project which would construct a 17 km LRT system from the Colombo Fort Multimodal Transport Hub to the Malabe depot, with 16 stations in between would cost a total of 246, 641 million Yen.
The agreement between the government and JICA previously promised technical expertise and a part of the financial cost to be borne by JICA. Finance and Mass Media State Minister Eran Wickremaratne said in an interview with the Sunday Observer that the loan would be a long term concessionary loan spread over 40 years with a 12 year grace period at interest rate of 0.1 percent. The Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development, the implementing agency of the project earlier predicted that the project would be completed by 2025.
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