China and India are to jointly fund the extension of the Northern Railway line to Kankesanthurai, General Manager of the Railway Department P.P. Wijesekara said yesterday.
The Railway Department will be laying the railway line to Omanthai, while the Indian Company will continue the work from Omanthai to Pallai and the Chinese company will be laying the track from Pallai to KKS, Wijesekara explained adding that the work is due to start in February. The railway track until KKS will be completed in two stages and it will be known as the Yal Devi track, Wijesekara said.The track will stretch from Omanthai to Pallai and will be 96 km in length while the distance from Pallai to KKS is 56 km, Wijesekara said. At present the Northern railway line extends to Thandikulam, three kilometers after passing Vavuniya, he said. According to him these railway tracks are expected to be high quality concrete sleepers.
Funds will be provided in terms of concessionary loans by the Indian and Chinese governments amounting to US $ 180 Million and US $ 240 Million respectively, Wijesekara said. IRCON an Indian company will undertake to construct the railway line from Omanthai to Pallai while China Railway Number Five Group will undertake the construction of the railway line from Pallai to KKS, the GM railways said.
Meanwhile 28 railway stations from Vavuniya to KKS are to be reconstructed and built newly using funds by local donors, Wijesekara said.
The northern railway track was functional upto Vavuniya at the end of the war, he added.
The railway track beyond Vavuniya and the railway stations beyond were destroyed during the war and the Army is presently carrying out de-mining activities to clear the area so that the railway line can proceed northwards, Wijesekara said.
* The Railway Department will be laying the railway line to Omanthai.
* The Indian Company will continue the work from Omanthai to Pallai. The track will stretch from Omanthai to Pallai and will be 96 km in length.
the Chinese company will be laying the track from Pallai to KKS. The distance from Pallai to KKS is 56 km.