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SL Expressway construction shifts gears from RDA to Sahasya Ltd.

By: Staff Writer

March 27, Colombo (LNW): Sri Lanka will recommence the construction work of its expressways that have been postponed for several years, by shifting the projects currently handled by the Road Development Authority (RDA) to Sahasya Investments Ltd. (SIL), a State institution operating under the purview of the Treasury,

Government approval was granted for the shifting of the expressway network from the Road Development Authority (RDA) to Sahasya Investment Limited.

While addressing the media, Cabinet spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardana said after shifting the expressway network to Sahasya Investment Limited, the land owned by highways, highway loans, and related staff can be managed more commercially.

The respective action plan was approved at the Cabinet meeting held on February 5.Accordingly, the proposal presented by the Transport and Highways Minister is to shift the daily operations and management of expressways to Sahasya Investment Limited from April 2024.

This was in accordance with a formal management agreement and to transfer all the relevant assets to Sasahasya Investments Limited within six months consequent to a legal and financial feasibility study jointly conducted by the Road Development Authority and Sahasya Investments Limited.

The Government will be considering investments for all expressway projects for which the proposals have already been submitted, including those that have been suspended over the past several years.

Accordingly, investments are expected for the Central Expressway Project (CEP), Ruwanpura Expressway Project (REP), and the Elevated Highway Project from New Kelani Bridge to Athurugiriya.

The RDA engages with the maintenance of the assigned roads, including the expressway network. It provides public services which cannot be commercially priced (except the expressway network). In this sense, the RDA is a non-commercial State-Owned Enterprise (SOE).

.The proposals for which Cabinet approval has been granted include to separate the expressway network, lands, loans (local), and staff from the RDA and assign them to SIL to manage them in a more commercial manner.

It is also proposed to reconstitute the Board of Directors of SIL with independent directors with the required expertise and industry knowledge and revalue its assets with current market prices to improve the balance sheet of the entity.

Further, the Treasury will provide the gap financing facility to SIL to pay the loans obtained for the construction of the expressways until the SIL improves its financial position to enable a loan repayment capacity.

It is also proposed to explore the possibility of implementing the new expressways and existing expressways under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model arranged by SIL with the advice of the PPP Unit established under the Ministry of Finance, Economic Stabilisation, and National Policies.

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