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Cabinet of Ministers granted approval for the rehabilitation and upgrading of 66 roads in the conflict affected Northern and Eastern Provinces based on a Cabinet Memorandum submitted by Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe.  This was a long-felt need of the Northern and Eastern Provinces which were affected by conflict over a period of 30 years.

Unreliable and inadequate road infrastructure is a major impediment for the economic growth in these two Provinces. To create a conducive environment for private sector investments, it is important to consider the road improvements as a high priority strategic investment. This would promote and expand export of agricultural, fisheries, and livestock products etc. and enable the regions to make a bigger contribution to the GDP.

Under phase one, it is planned to develop and upgrade approximately 2500 Km of RDA, RDD, and rural roads at cost of over US $ 200 Mn,  as part of national integration and reconciliation efforts in the Northern and Eastern Provinces to bring a strong bridge between North and the South to enhance unity, harmony, coexistence, and to build sustainable peace among communities and ensure economic growth and poverty reduction said Mr. V. Sivagnanasothy, Secretary, Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation.

Under this project in Jaffna District roads such as Valukkaiyaru Punguduththivu - Kurikadduwan Road, Jaffna Manipai- Karainagar Road, and Punnalai - Point Pedro Road, Eluthumadduwal – Nagarkovil Road including many Road Development Authority (RDA), (Road Development Department) RDD, and rural roads, Nainathivu and Kurikadduwan Jetties are to be rehabilitated. In Kilinochchi District roads such as Murikandi Kanagapuram Paranthan Road and in Mullaitivu District Bridge across Kokkilai Lagoon, Vadduvaikal Bridge, and Vattapalai Main Road and in Mannar District Mahilankulam Pallamadhu Road, Peramanalankulam Road, and Periyapandivirichan Road – Mullikulam Road and in Batticaloa Kiran Bridge, Santhiveli Thikiliveddai Bridge, and Marine Drive Batticaloa – Kalkuda Road will be rehabilitated and upgraded. Further, Trincomalee and Ampara Districts has also been included and many rural and RDD roads in the North and East Districts are to be covered under this initiative.

The project is to be executed by the Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation with other relevant line Ministries and agencies including Road Development Authority (RDA). The project was formulated under the guidance of the Prime Minister’s Northern and Eastern Provinces Development Committee and recommended by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Management headed by Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe and got the endorsement of Cabinet of Ministers. The Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation directly comes under the purview of His Excellency the President Maithripala Sirisena and these road interventions will be executed under the President’s guidance. Action is being taken to call for the tenders with financing arrangements on soft terms said Mr. V. Sivagnanasothy, Secretary, Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation.

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