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A special move towards electrification of Colombo’s public transportation has been initiated by the Ministry of Power and Energy with plans to bring down electric buses and trishaws for the district.

Accordingly, talks have now commenced with vehicle importers and trishaw drivers with regard to bringing down new three-wheelers while looking at possibilities of converting the existing vehicles to be able to run on electricity.

“The target is to transform the entire public transport system by 2030. Currently, we are in talks with the private sector which would be bringing down these vehicles. We hope to bring one bus down and run in Colombo roads and then decide on how to proceed in future,” Secretary to the Ministry, Dr. B.M.S. Batagoda told The Nation Gain.

Meanwhile, plans are also afoot to electrify the Panadura-Weyangoda segment of the railway lines. The Cabinet had earlier approved a joint proposal by Ministers of Internal Transport R.M. Ranjith Madduma Bandara and Power and Energy Patali Champika Ranawaka to grant policy priority to electrify the Colombo urban railway service.

A steering committee, comprising representatives of both ministries, the Ceylon Electricity Board, Department of Sri Lanka Railways, the Institution of Engineers, the Department of National Planning, and the Treasury, has been appointed to make a detailed feasibility study on the project.

Batagoda said that the feasibility study will be based on a previous assessment conducted in 2008 by the Institution of Engineers of Sri Lanka, the Ceylon Electricity Board and Sri Lanka Railways.
(AW)