October 22, 2020
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    Train tickets to be printed locally

    September 25, 2020

    The government is presently seeking the possibility of printing the train tickets locally, Transport Minister Gamini Lokuge told parliament yesterday. Lokuge invited the Government Press to discuss this possibility with the Railway Department.

     

    Minister Lokuge made these observations in reply to Samagi Jana Balawegaya MP Hesha Withanage questioned about the railway facility in the country during the oral question round.

    Answering to MP Withanage’s questions Minister Lokuge said the government received an income of Rs. MN 6386.96 during 2019 from providing railway commute service. The Minister also said that the government has spent Rs. MN 131.62 to print 51 MN tickets in 2019.

    SJB MP Hesha Withanage observed, "The most used public transportation system in the country is the train facility. So it is important that the facilities given to this service are properly increased so that we can make it efficient. We hope that all previous governments have contributed to enhance this service, however, I think it is not enough. Now in early days we used to have more railway lines destined to different areas. For example there was a railway line that went to Ratnapura. It is not functional anymore. This government, we saw in the last few weeks, attempting to implement priority lanes. It is a good move. I think enhancing the train service will also benefit the attempt to decrease traffic on roads."

    In reply Minister Lokuge said, "The only president who developed Sri Lanka's railways is the Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. We have now commenced the project to develop the Kelaniweli railway line. Presently we are working on the time table and the facilities that should be added to train facilities."

    MP Withanage then pointed out that, "There is a large amount of money spent to print train tickets. Large sums of monies are allocated to print lotteries and train tickets. During our government also we questioned about this as there seemed to be many corruptions related to this matter. It has been alleged that subject ministers’ give the contract of printing the tickets to their close associates. As a senior Minister, I would like to know what steps you have taken concerning this matter.”

    In reply Minister Lokuge said, "We do not know what the previous government did. However, we have invited the Government Press to hold discussions with the Railway Department on printing train tickets locally.”

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