President opens the longest tunnel in Sri Lanka

* Japan provided Rs 34 b for the project

President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday declared open the 12.9 km long Upper Kotmale tunnel, the longest in Sri Lanka.

Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said that the public would be allowed to view the tunnel on Nov. 5, 6 and 7 from 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.

Access to the tunnel would be limited to prevent congestion.

The Minister said that the tunnel would be filled with water next year.

"Electricity generated by this project (150 MW) will be added to the national grid by December next year. The total cost of the project is Rs 44 billion," he said.

The Sri Lankan government provided Rs. 10 billion for the project and the Japanese Government  Rs 34 billion.

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