The Light Rail Transit (LRT) - JICA project, under the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development was formed as an exclusive Project Management Unit in February 2017 for the implementation of the first Light Rail Transit System which is expected to run through Malabe and Colombo Fort. The PMU consists of competent members under the directorship of Eng. Commander (Rtd) Chaminda Ariyadasa , the direct supervision of Eng. Nihal Rupasinghe, Secretary, Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development and the leadership of Hon. Partali Champika Ranawaka, the Minster, the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development.
To be in par with the mega development drive in the rest of the world, it is necessary to bring systematic changes and development processes to Sri Lanka. Transportation plays a key role in achieving such tasks through the availability of an improved system of public transportation to cater the mobility needs of the public. This will ensure that dwellers of urban areas become a part of socioeconomic development of the country while maintaining high levels in quality of life. It is in this context that the new Transport Master Plan developed by the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development focused in introducing new modes of public transportation systems to improve the connectivity and the accessibility. This will transform the entire Western Province into a Megapolis area to usher incomprehensive and development within the next five years.
Massive initiative of transportation under Megapolis is the introduction of this Light Rail Transit (LRT) system.It spreads across Colombo and Suburbs as a network to cater the projected demand induced by the proposed Megapolis structure plan by improving the interconnectivity between different modes of transportation such as buses, ferry transportation and suburban railway.
First step taken towards the introduction of LRT to Sri Lanka with the financial and technical assistance of Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) under Special Terms for Economic Partnership (STEP) will regenerate the urban context of Colombo.
The severe problem of traffic within and around Colombo city will result in negative impact to the economic performance of the country, thus it is vital to solve the congestion problem through which people will benefited with saved time, fuel and low carbon foot print.
Towards this end, the proposed Light Rail Transit (LRT) system enhances the economic development, environmental sustainability and inter-modality which support socio, cultural, economic and wellbeing of all citizens.
In Sri Lanka, over 90% of people and cargo transport is road network dependent. Around 42%of GDP and 29% of the total population are concentrated in the city of Colombo resulting in more usage of road network by different types of traffic modes such as automobiles, three wheelers and motorcycles. According to the statistics, 1 million of people are flowing towards the center of Colombo everyday creating severe traffic congestion in and around Colombo.
Therefore, based on current saturated traffic condition at major roads in Colombo city, it is of crucial necessity to improve the public transportation and to increase the percentage of public transport commuters. Identifying its paramount importance, under the Megapolis Transport Master Plan developed in 2016 by the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development, a network of Light Rail Transit (LRT) was identified as an initiative to upgrade the current condition of public transportation in Colombo and its suburbs.
As the preliminary step towards this implementation, one of the busiest corridors heading towards Colombo, the Malambe Corridor was identified to be provided with the LRT system under the financial assistance of Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA). It is expected that this proposed LRT system will cater the planned growth induced by the MegapolisStructure Plan for the coming decades. This system will enhance the convenienceof the general public creating a positive perception towards using public transportation in Sri Lanka.At the same time, improving the mobility by introducing the LRT will ensure the national economic growth in Sri Lanka.
I am pleased to welcome you to Light Rail Transit (LRT) website. As a part of transportation mission of the Ministry of Megapolis & Western Development (MMWD), a priority concern was to solve traffic congestion in Western Region, especially Colombo Metropolitan area. The Megapolis Transport Master Plan was the vehicle to take the first giant step in addressing congestion with LRT technologyin cooperation with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The LRT-JICA projectis focused on improving the lives of commuters passing through Malambe - Fort corridor facilitating minimum traffic congestion, reduced travel time, low passage cost, improved air quality, safe travel and economic development.
With the aim of achieving aforesaid requirements, the Ministry of Megapolis & Western Development has already commenced its first Light Rail Transit Project providing connectivity between Malambe and Colombo Fort, which is one of the busiest traffic corridors in the Colombo Metropolitan area. The proposed elevated 15.8 km LRT system is comprised of 16 stations and a depot. The LRT (JICA) will connectsome of the highly commercialised areas includingBorella,Rajagiriya and Battaramulla not forgetting the heart of health care for Sri Lankans, the Colombo General Hospital with a station atTownhall.
It is indeed a privilege to be a part of Sri Lanka's first ever LRTsystem which will become a reality with the assistance of JICA.
The Project Management Unit (PMU) of LRT - JICA will have the capacities and the knowledge required for the management and implementation of the project, which I am privileged to lead with a team of dedicated professionals, committed for the successful and timely completion of the project. I hope that the efforts of our team would bring the expected service delivery of LRT project for the socio-economic enhancement of Sri Lanka.