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Reconstruction of Five Bridges with Japanese assistance commences in the East.

Colombo, Nov. 12 -- The reconstruction of five bridges in the Eastern Province will be ceremonially commenced by the Minister of Economic Development, Basil Rakapakse and Deputy Minister of Highways, Nirmala Kotalawala together with Nobuhito Hobo - the Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka and Akira Shimura, Chief Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on 15 November.

Dignitaries from the Eastern Province including the Chief Minister and Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Members of Parliament will also participate in the ceremony.

Under the 1.2 billion Japanese Yen (approx. 1.7 billion Rupees) grant, four bridges between Padiyathalawa and Eravur on the A5 in Maha Oya and Eravurpattu DS Divisions, and Panichankerny bridge and causeway on the A15 (Trincomalee-Batticaloa Road) will be reconstructed.

The A5 is the primary road link from the Central and Uva Provinces to the Eastern Province, while the A15 interconnects the three districts of the Eastern Province - Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampara. The existing bridges which have been constructed some 60 years ago are in a dilapidated state since maintenance and repairs could not be carried out during decades of conflict.

Within the post-tsunami and post-conflict reconstruction drive, both the A5 and A15 roads have been widened for two-lane traffic. To gain the benefit of the widening, the bridges which are now traffic bottlenecks have to be reconstructed according to current national standards for two-lane traffic as well. The grant assistance from Japan will enable this improvement.

The project is implemented by the Road Development Authority in cooperation with JICA. "We hope this assistance will contribute to reducing regional disparities, and promote better connectivity for socio-economic growth", says Mr. Akira Shimura, Chief Representative of JICA - Sri Lanka Office.

JICA's on-going assistance to Eastern Province includes reconstruction of 315km of rural roads, development of rural water supply systems, and rectification of flood damaged roads and irrigation infrastructure through Official Development Assistance loans, and construction of a new bridge in Manmunai through grant assistance. The new Manampitiya Bridge across Mahaweli River in North Central Province, and the new Mannar Bridge connecting the mainland to Mannar Island in Northern Province were also JICA grant projects.

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Publication:Asian Tribune (India)
Geographic Code:9SRIL
Date:Nov 12, 2011
Words:385
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