Kandy-Colombo expressway  re-routed via Kurunegala

By Pabodha Hettige

The Ministry of Highways had decided to make alterations in the route proposed for the construction of the Colombo – Kandy expressway following a recent presidential directive, ministry sources said. Accordingly the construction of the expressway would be via Kurunegala.

"If the expressway is built through Kurunegala, the ministry would not have to design a new highway to connect Anuradhapura and Trincomalee districts," Deputy Minister of Highways, Nirmala Kotalawela said.

According to the latest plan, the expressway could be easily extended to the two districts from Kurunegala. The initial construction of the Colombo-Kandy expressway was scheduled to be constructed through Ambepussa, sources said

Currently an environment impact assessment and land surveying were being carried out in Kurunegala district in order to check the feasibility of the altered proposal, media secretary to the minister, Sampath Kumbalatara said.

He also said that highway construction through Kurunegala would minimize the number of lands to be filled and the number of houses to be demolished. "A large portion of the highway is planned to be constructed on elevated concrete pillars," he said.

When constructing the Southern Expressway the ministry had compensated all those, whose lands were acquired, "the values of these lands were calculated on the basis what they would fetch in 20 years time" Minimum acquisition of lands according to the altered plan would save a lot of money being used to compensate the land owners," Kumbalatara said.

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