Malaysia to resubmit a proposal to construct expressway to Sri Lanka hill capital

Sept 26, Colombo: The Malaysian government is mulling to resubmit a proposal to construct a Colombo-Kandy Toll Expressway at a cost of US$ 1 billion (RM 3 billion), a Malaysian government official has said.

Malaysia’s Special Envoy (Infrastructure) to India and South Asia, Samy Vellu has told Malaysian news agency Bernama that the proposal to construct the 115-kilometer highway, originally submitted in 2003, will be resubmitted for Sri Lankan government’s consideration.

In 2003, the contract, estimated at RM 1.2 billion then, was dropped by both governments after a feasibility study.

The Malaysian official has said that the idea has been revive following a courtesy call from the Sri Lankan government delegation headed by the Southern Province governor, Kumari Balasuriya and joined by several Sri Lankan ministers.

“The Sri Lankan government has also shown great interest in this project to be undertaken by the Malaysian contractors again,” he has told Bernama.

The highway, if constructed, will take only 55 minutes to travel the 72-mile distance between Kandy and Colombo compared to the current three hours.

According to the official the proposal is under negotiation and both parties have to come up with their own feasibility study before moving forward with a plan.

The Governor meanwhile, has expressed hope to see further discussion on the project, when the Malaysian official visits Sri Lanka in the near future.

Sri Lanka recently completed the work of a similar toll expressway to the South. The Southern Expressway is slated to open in December for travel between Colombo and Galle. The highway will be extended to Matara and Hambanthota in the future.

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