Indian Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari has offered to assist Sri Lanka in its efforts to develop roads in the north and the east.
During a meeting with the visiting Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and his delegation in New Delhi on 26 April, Minister Gadkari has said that his Ministry was prepared to assist Sri Lanka in its efforts to construct the Jaffna-Mannar-Trincomalee road and the Dambulla-Trincomalee highway, and carry out other road development activities within the Island.
Minister Gadkari further pledged his support towards cooperating with Sri Lanka in order to construct roadways suited to the highest standards, utilising modern technology and India’s own personal experiences. He assured the visiting Premier that his Ministry would fully cooperate with Sri Lankan Government’s efforts in developing world class infrastructure in Sri Lanka. During this meeting, ideas were exchanged pertaining to the means of renewing the economy of the north with the construction of the Jaffna, Mannar and Trincomalee route.
Minister Gadkari also suggested that taking up all these stretches for development may only be possible with the active support of Sri Lankan agencies for land acquisition and local clearances.
Without acquisition and other clearances in place, it will be difficult to complete the project in time.
On receiving the final formal proposal, Gadkari assured that they may look at appointing an international consultant to take up detailed study and preparation of feasibility report and Detailed Project Report (DPR) for these stretches.
The Indian delegation included Indian Shipping Ministry Secretary Rajeev Kumar, Road Transport and Highways Ministry Secretary Sanjay Mitra and Additional Secretary Vaobhav Dange.