President emphasizes the need to enhance efficiency of railway services

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has paid his attention to enhance the efficiency of railway services and to make it a people- friendly service while identifying the existing shortcomings.

The President has instructed the officials to devise necessary strategies and to take required decisions to improve the service by eliminating delays and upgrading compartments facilities.

President Rajapaksa made directives at a meeting held at the Presidential Secretariat, yesterday (11) to discuss the steps to be taken to improve the railway services, President’s Media Division said.

On a daily basis, over 385,000 passengers travel by train and trains are often over crowded. The President said that by providing improved services to these commuters and attracting more people will help easing traffic congestion on roads.

During this meeting the steps that should be taken to rectify this situation were discussed in detail.

The President also required trade unions to make their representations to enhance the efficiency of the railway system.

The President pointed out that daily train schedules should be designed based on public needs. He also highlighted the importance of identifying potentials of the current workforce of the Railway Department with the objective of improving their skills in order to provide more efficient service.

As train delays are mostly caused due to the outdated signal systems, the President also instructed relevant officials to take necessary remedial measures in this regard with the assistance of the local engineers.

Attention was drawn to the possibility of using railway lines for freight transport after peak hours. The President said that it would be of great importance to the national economy as well.

Discussions were also focused on modernization of the railway service in an attractive manner targeting foreign tourists.

Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, Secretary to the President Dr. P.B. Jayasundara, Secretary to the Finance Ministry S. Attygalle, Secretary to the Ministry of Transport, H.M. Gamini Seneviratne, Railways General Manager, M.J.D. Fernando, and senior officials were present in the meeting.

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