(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has instructed relevant officials to rectify technical faults in train carriages ordered and imported during the previous regime and put them into operation immediately.
The President gave these instructions at a progress review meeting of the Ministry of Transport and State Ministry of Transport Regulatory Bus Services and Railway Carriages and Motor Industries held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday morning (14).
During the last administration, 160 sets of compartments were ordered and out of that quantity, 120 compartments have been imported so far, out of which 40 compartments have been added to the service.
The President instructed the officials to use all the compartments that have not been added to the service as soon as possible.
The President pointed out that the buses that can be used but have been taken out of service should be repaired and added to the short distance service and it will provide an opportunity to meet the transport needs of the people in rural areas.
President Rajapaksa instructed the officials to work cooperatively in a friendly manner with all trade unions and employees to solve the problems in the public transport sector. He also stressed the need for all parties to work together to stop the trade union struggles that oppress the people.
He emphasized that attention should be paid to maintaining the transport sector formally and noted that many difficulties can be solved by streamlining technology and rules.
The President also instructed the authorities to launch a passenger service targeting tourists and covering tourist areas.
Pointing out that the existing overstaffing was a serious problem The President asked the officials to expedite the process of providing proper training and obtaining their services further without removing any employees.
The possibility of importing 100 electric buses for passenger transport in the future was discussed at length, focusing on future fuel crises and environmental issues.
The President also stressed the need for all to pay attention to the grievances of the people regarding the transport service and to provide a quality transport service.
Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Finance has stated that the government is not prepared to increase bus fares and inconvenience the public. He said some of the problems faced by the public transport service can be solved by stopping corruption and irregularities in the transport sector.
Ministers Basil Rajapaksa, Pavithra Wanniarachchi, State Minister Dilum Amunugama, Secretary to the President Gamini Senarath, Secretary to the Ministry Monty Ranatunga, Secretary to the State Ministry SMDLK De Alwis, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Transport Board Kingsley Ranawaka, General Manager of Railways JID Jayasundera and other officials of the line agencies were also present at the occasion.