Chief Government Whip and Highways Minister Johnston Fernando vested with the public today (28) newly upgraded and developed 86.7 km long stretch of highway from Bibile to Chenkalady.
The project is considered to be a major booster to the economy by enhancing people’s access to markets and social infrastructure such as schools and hospitals and reducing the travel time due to the reduction of traffic congestion and ultimately reducing the travel cost benefiting passengers and industries. The feasibility study of the project to develop this stretch of the A5 main road to a two-lane highway commenced in 2014. The A5 highway from Peradeniya, Badulla to Chenkalady is 275 km long. Development and upgrading the road had been done in three phases by two construction companies. The first phase covered the development of a 29 km long stretch from Bibile to Padiyatalawa, The 30 km long stretch from Padiyatalawa to Tempitiya was covered by the second phase. Under the third phase of the project a 27.7 km long stretch of road from Tempitiya to Chenkalady was upgraded. Upgrading the 86.7 km long road from Bibile to Chenkalady cost Rs 7,200 millions. The Saudi Fund for Development assisted the Lankan government in covering the cost.
A sum of Rs 12.4 million had been paid as compensation for the loss of lands of people in Bibile, Rideemalaiyadda, Padiyatalawa and Mahaoya divisional secretariat areas because of the project.
Among those present were State Minister of Backward Rural Areas Development and Promotion of Domestic Animal Husbandry & Minor Economic Crop Cultivation, S Viyalendran, CEO of Saudi Fund for Development Sultan Bin Abdul Rahim Al-Marshad, , politicians of the district, and officials led by Secretary to the Ministry of Highways RWR Pemasiri.