Jan 07, Colombo: The Government of India has agreed to provide a loan of US$ 382.37 million for the restoration of Northern Railway Service, the government announced Friday.
Sri Lanka’s cabinet has granted approval to a proposal put forward by the President, in his capacity as a Minister of Finance and Planning to enter into a credit agreement with the Export-Import Bank of India to obtain this credit facility.
Of the total credit line, US$ 149.3 million will be utilized for the reconstruction of the 56-kilometer Pallai- Kankesanthurai Railway Line destroyed by the Tamil Tiger rebels during the war.
Another US$ 86.52 million will be allocated for setting up of signaling and telecommunication systems for the Northern Railway Line and US$ 146.51 million will be utilized for other contracts that may be mutually agreed upon by the two Governments.
Under an agreement signed by the two countries last August, India will supply and install a Signaling and Telecommunication system for the railway network in the Northern Province.
The signaling work involves provision of centralized control panel, interlocking color light system with electrically operated points and track detection system. All the level crossings will be interlocked with new signaling system, which would ensure safety at level crossings.
The telecommunication work involves provision of optical fiber communication system throughout the section. In addition, public address system, etc., shall also be provided at major stations.
The loan provided by the Indian government at concessional terms is a part of the Indian Line of Credit of US$ 800 million. The credit line carries an interest rate of LIBOR plus 0.5 % with LIBOR capped at 3% with a repayment period of 20 years with a five year moratorium.
The work on reconstruction of the railway network in the North, including on the Pallai-Kankesanthurai segment, is expected to be completed by the end of 2013.
The restoration of rail network will give a boost to connectivity and economic development in Sri Lanka.