It has taken 5 years of discussion to get to this stage, only for the whole project to be renegotiated and likely cancelled. This is because much of JICA funding is long term concessionary and based on terms that often includes the use of Japanese Firms in their construction and low commissions and bribes paid to local intermediaries. The real issue of the commuter seems to be the least concern.
It is likely then that we may end up getting a Chinese company bidding and being granted the contract, after a lot of wrangling on the payoffs, so another 3 to 5 years will be wasted before construction begins and it is likely that it would be finished by 2035 at the earliest if past practice is an indicator of future likelihood.
Can you imagine what the traffic would be in Colombo by then? If it is costing a Rs1B a day in lost work now it will soon cost RS2B a day in about a month from now when traffic snarl ups are the norm rather than exception and while the people of Colombo and the suburbs suffer just to come to work, does anyone think they can ever work once they do arrive?
It is under this ridiculous scenario that we have people making life and death decisions without a care in the world for the suffering of the people involved. When China can build a 1,000 bed hospital in 10 days, lawmakers are simply unable to execute a project during the period they have power, so when the next bunch of bozos come on the scene just to mothball the previous project because they somehow think they don’t share in the spoils, whose spoils are they concerned about, but their own? We the people bear a huge responsibility in electing the people with unchanged outlook on what the future should look like let alone any care for the future.
I suggest it is better to move Government out of Colombo, to somewhere livable like Polonnaruwa and build a lean and mean capital using latest technology and a tenth of the workforce so that in future the people will not be burdened in carrying a weight of non-productive workers, as now the displaced workers can actually be released into the Private Sector to add value to the economy and industry, so the Country can actually move forwards instead of backwards.
It is utterly frustrating that no short term measures have not been adopted to relieve congestion, like a fleet of electric buses that provide free seating from Malabe to Fort where it is AC and seating only where standing passengers will not be permitted. If this causes a riot then provide this at least at Rs100 a pop, so that one car for each passenger would be removed from the roads. This after providing large parking lots in Malabe for drivers to park and use public transport.