UPFA to protest if highway is not extended

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Alahapperuma urged President Maithripala Sirisena to push the Government to go ahead with the extension of the highway to Hambantota via Beliatta, which was part of the original plan of the highway project.The second phase of the Southern Expressway from Pinnaduwa in Galle to Godagama in Matara was declared open by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in March last year. Alahapperuma however said that while the land for the extension of the Colombo – Matara highway to Beliatta had been acquired, the construction work was at a standstill. The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) today warned that it will stage street protests if the Colombo – Matara highway is not extended to Beliatta.UPFA MP Dallas Alahapperuma said that the new Government had promised it will complete the highway projects for 20 percent less than the originally estimated costs. The Galle to Matara extension costing US$ 180 million was funded by the Exim Bank of China and the former Sri Lankan Government had sought funds from China for the Matara to Hambantota extension as well.The Southern Expressway extension from Matara to Hambantota was to be done in three stages with the first stage being from Matara to Beliatta (30 km), second stage from Beliatta to Wetiya (26 km) and the last stage from Mattala to Hambantota via Andarawewa (25 km).However extension work on the expressway from Matara was suspended after the January 8 Presidential elections when the new Government came to power. (Colombo Gazette) “If this Government does not commence the work on the highway project we will be compelled to join the people of Matara and protest on the highway,” the former Minister said.

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