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PM to launch several mega construction projects today to ease traffic congestion

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A project to construct five flyovers and a four-lane elevated expressway from the New Kelani Bridge to Athurugiriya to ease traffic congestion in Colombo and Kandy is scheduled to be launched by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa today (07).

The inauguration ceremony will be held with the participation of a limited number of people as per the health regulations in place in view of the pandemic.

Prime Minister Rajapaksa will participate at the ceremony via new technology from Temple Trees.

Highways Minister Johnston Fernando said that the implementation of the project demonstrated the government’s commitment to the vision and policies of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour. This year’s budget had laid special emphasis on solving traffic congestion in main cities, the Minister said, adding that as part the project five new flyovers and an elevated expressway from the New Kelani Bridge to Athurugiriya would be constructed.

Flyovers would be constructed at Kohuwala junction, Getambe Junction, overpassing the Slave Island Railway Station to Justice Akbar Mawatha, Uttarananda Mawatha and another flyover connecting two overhead bridges. A flyover would be constructed across Beira Lake and Slave Island to the Bala Daksha Mawatha and another connecting Chittampalam A Gardiner Mawatha. 

Cabinet approval has been granted for these constructions.

The four-lane elevated expressway from the New Kelani Bridge to Athurugiriya is planned to reduce huge traffic congestion created by vehicles coming from the Southern Expressway to Colombo and those from Battaramulla, Kaduwela and Aturugiriya to Colombo. It is 16.4 km in length and estimated cost is Rs 134.9 billion. The construction would be done by the China Harbour Engineering Company in 36 months. The elevated expressway will start from the New Kelani Bridge and runs through Kolonnawa, Rajagiriya, Buthgamauwa, Battaramulla, Koswatte, Pothuarawa, Hokandara to Outer Circular Expressway. There would be inter-exchanges at Orugodawatte, Rajagriya, Koswatte, Hokandara  and at Dematagoda connecting the Baseline Road. There would be another inter-exchange linking the elevated expressway to the Outer Circular Expressway at Athurugiriya.

The Flyover at Kohuwala junction will be constructed with the financial aid from the Hungarian government at a cost of 2,648 million rupees. The overhead bridge would be of 217.30 m in length and 9.4 m in width overarching a four-lane road connecting Nugegoda and Kalubowila controlled by traffic signals. The project is expected to be completed in 22 months.

The flyover at the Getambe junction will be constructed with the financial aid from the Hungarian government at a cost of Rs. 9,451 million. It would be 396.70 metres in length and its branch-flyover would be 285 metres in length. The width of the flyover would be covered in three segments. The main flyover would be of 9.40 metres in length and counted together with the branch flyover the total width would be 12.90 metres. The width of the branch-flyover from Kandy to Peradeniya would be 6.40 meters. In additions the plans have been made to construct the underway enabling two or three vehicles at once and it comprise a 30 meter long four-lane iron bridge from Peradeniya to Kandy. The project is scheduled to be completed in 28 months.

Length of the Flyover at the Justice Akbar Mawatha will be 207 m It would be 8.4 m in width. Flyover at the Uttarananda Mawatha will be 396 m in length and 10.4 min width. The flyover connecting the two aforementioned flyovers would be 310 meters in length and 6.9 meters in width. Total cost for three aforementioned flyovers is estimated at 5,270 million rupees. It is planned to be completed in 12 months and construction work of the flyovers would be by Maga Engineering Pvt Ltd.

The Flyover across Beira Lake and Slave Island Railway Station connecting Bala Daksha Mawatha and Chittampalam A Gardner Mawatha is planned to be completed in 12 months. It will be 360 m in length and 11 meters in width. The total construction cost is Rs 2,730 million and the work is to be completed by the Access Engineering PLC.



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At least 17 killed after explosion in Peshawar mosque

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(picture from twitter)

BBC reported that at least 17 people have been killed in an explosion at a mosque in the Pakistani city of Peshawar.

The blast happened when the mosque was packed with worshippers and more than 90 people were injured.

A section of the building was destroyed, and officials say people are buried under the rubble. Several others are being taken to local hospitals.

The cause of the explosion is unclear.

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More heavy rain ahead for New Zealand’s largest city

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Auckland experienced an unprecedented amount of rainfall on Friday (picture BBC)

BBC reported that residents in flood-hit northern New Zealand are bracing for more heavy rains as officials issued severe weather alerts.

At least four people have died and a state of emergency was declared in Auckland, which on Friday experienced its worst downpour on record.

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Information Dept. media release: EC Chief asks public not to be misled

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by Priyan de Silva

Chairman of the Election Commission of Sri Lanka, Nimal Punchihewa, asked to comment on a special news release, purportedly issued by the Director General of the Department of Government Information, on Sunday (29), told  The Island  that preparations for the 09 March local government elections were going ahead, as planned, and that the media statement at issue was misleading.

The media statement says: “The gazette notice with signatures of the Chairman and other members of the Election Commission required for the commencement of the Local Government election process has not been sent to the Government Press for printing.”

Punchihewa requested the public not to be misled by any misinformation being spread in an attempt to create doubts in their minds.He also  reiterated that the EC would not be deterred by any acts of intimidation.

Three of the EC members have been threatened with death by an unidentified caller to resign from their posts. They are S. B. Divaratne, M. M. Mohamed and K. P. P. Pathirana. The Opposition has accused the government of trying to sabotage the LG polls.

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