(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – Dr. Bandula Gunawardena, Minister of Transport, Highways and Mass Media, says that 50 luxury buses which have been taken out of service, losing an income of Rs. 5 million per day for the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB), will be brought back into service in the next six months.
While attending a special inspection at the bus yard of the Katubedda High Luxury Travel Transport Service belonging to the Sri Lanka Transport Board, the Minister said more than 50 of these luxury buses, which can earn a net profit of more than one lakh rupees per day, are parked at the Katubedda yard.
He said these buses parked in this yard are currently not in service due to various technical defects and lack of spare parts.
The minister has indicated that after a special investigation, a program should be started to enable these 50 buses to run again within the next six months.
Accordingly, Mr. Kushan Wegodapola, an engineer, has been appointed as a consultant to quickly repair these buses, which are losing a lot of profit to SLTB on a daily basis, and return them back into service.
“The SLTB loses Rs 5 million a day due to this. After a special study to put these 50 buses back into service in six months, Engineer Kushan Wegodapola, former president of Lakdiva Engineering Co., highly qualified and experienced Automobile Engineer from Canada was appointed as a Consultant to the SLTB Luxury Travel Unit for this purpose,” Minister Gunawardena said.
“He has been entrusted with the responsibility of getting these valuable buses running again in the next six months, while negotiating with the Chinese companies that manufactured these buses for necessary instructions”.
According to SLTB Chairman Lalith de Alwis, 69 luxury buses brought for the Commonwealth Conference ten years ago have been handed over to the SLTB by the then government. However, when he took over as Chairman, only 37 buses were in running condition.
He said SLTB technicians couldn’t repair these buses, as they required special engineering knowledge of these buses and after informing Minister Gunawardena about this, he had arranged to appoint a consultant with expertise related to the subject.
“Through that consultancy, I believe that, within the next six months, we will be able to put these buses back into service,” SLTB Chairman added.