According to figures released recently by the National Audit Office, the decision to halt the Light Rail Transit Project (LRT) cost the government Rs. 10677 million.
The abrupt suspension came into effect as a policy decision of the government.
This project was launched under a loan agreement with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
On June 28, 2022, a cabinet paper was also submitted regarding compensation to JICA and OCGJV for the loss caused by the stoppage of this project.
This project was implemented by the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development at that time, and the total estimated cost of the project was 4381 million rupees. The loan amount obtained for the project was 4,886 million rupees.
The audit also revealed that an amount of 6,296 million rupees had been spent in excess of the total estimated cost of this project.
The loan period for this project was 40 years, including a grace period of 12 years, and the Sri Lankan government had agreed to pay the loan in two instalments according to the loan agreement. The audit has revealed that the interest value was also added to the respective loan amount every six months.
As consulting fees for this project, Rupees (4,940,174,321) were paid.
The total amount spent on employee salaries was 196,703,291
The government abruptly decided to stop this project on August 15, 2022.
As the first step in starting the light rail transit project in Sri Lanka, it was planned to operate from Malambe to Fort.
The project was scheduled to be started in 2019 and completed in 2026.