The government said the Colombo-Katunayake expressway would result in vehicles the Bandaranaike International Airport-bound vehicles reaching their destination within 15 minutes, as compared to the present one hour.
Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, announcing the weekly Cabinet decisions on Wednesday, said the construction of the 25.6 kilometre expressway would be completed within 39 months and would be Sri Lanka`s first `pay highway`.
Motorists using the expressway would have to pay a nominal fee once it is commissioned.
The fees would be utilized to maintain the highway, which is being built with Chinese financial assistance amounting to 292 million US dollars.
The expressway will consist of six lanes from Colombo to Peliyagoda and four lanes from Peliyagoda to Katunayake.
In other Cabinet decisions this week, Minister Yapa said the government had decided to provide school uniform materials to children attending government schools by 2007.
Cabinet meanwhile approved the leasing of the Keththarama International cricket Stadium to Sri Lanka Cricket. The stadium is the only flood-lit cricket venue in Colombo.
Meanwhile, at the same Cabinet meeting President Mahinda Rajapakse`s attention was drawn to the need to increase by fifty percent the relief allowance payable to the people living in conflict areas.
According to the Cabinet Paper the increased amount required would be one million rupees. This proposal is due to be approved by the Cabinet at next week`s meeting.
According to this proposal the relief allowance of Rs. 336 to a single person would be increased to Rs. 504, the allowance of Rs. 616 to two persons to Rs. 925, Rs. 840 to three persons to Rs.1260, Rs. 1,008 to four persons to Rs. 1,512 and Rs. 1,260 payable to five persons would be increased to Rs. 1,890.Cabinet approval was also granted for a project on popularization of local foods and the development of fishery harbours.
Approval was also granted for the initiation of eight industries under the three hundred industries project.