A Verité Research seminar on the topic “Economics of shooting without aiming: The case of transport in the Megapolis” on the 7th of April featured Professor Amal Kumarage. The presentation was based on a comparison of Colombo transport master plans from research conducted by the University of Moratuwa.

According to Professor Kumarage’s analysis, the Megapolis initiative is based on unsustainable high-cost long-term solutions that focus too much on building highways and too little on means and infrastructure for public transport.In contrast, the University of Moratuwa study gave priority to improving bus and rail systems based off of the existing infrastructure, as well as improving transport demand management and road infrastructure.

One of the key points addressed in the discussion was the lack of public information and adequate professional evaluation. Kumarage stated that the decisions and actions under the Megapolis initiative have been ad-hoc and has not received sufficient debate and evaluation, both within the government and from the public. A key weakness highlighted during the presentation was the process by which the Megapolis initiative is going forward. The discussion suggested that projects were being actioned even before the plan has been strategized and evaluated. Further, there was a failure to adopt an integrated approach to public transport.

Amal Kumarage is a Senior Professor in the Department of Transport & Logistics Management, University of Moratuwa, and was responsible for the development of the Transportation Engineering Division of the University of Moratuwa.

The Dialogues and Education program of Verité Research hosts weekly seminars that engage in issues of public importance.

  • Wije

    Oh my old friend Kumarage. This guy just ruined the whole
    transportation in the country doing nothing for the last 20 years. What has he
    done to the transportation rather than just preaching along, doing many many
    consultancies and sabotaging whenever he is not consulted. What has he done
    been the NTC chairman for several terms. Only notable thing he did was the park
    and ride which was a utter failure. Still remember similar publicity stunts he
    did when expressways were opened stating that no one will be using the
    expressways. Look how they are been used now. The Ego and reality that his
    thinking is old fashion must have hit his head. I guarantee all his allegations
    are baseless and fabricated.

  • MPJS

    Who is this Kumarage and why is he still a professor. Why does this guy sling mud at a program that clearly has been well researched and proven around the world? I feel there is a personal agenda in his stone walling attempt. If this is the case he should tender his resignation and let the country develop from the stagnated state which it is in, to the next transportation revolution.