Rest and recuperation time for Railways- by Reka Tharangani Fonseka
The Sri Lanka Railways Department (SLRD) has suffered a total loss of Rs 15 million due to the suspension of all passenger services amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Acting General Superintendent of Railways W A D M Gunasinghe said.
Regular mail, express, passenger and suburban train services have been suspended since May 14 due to the spread of the virus in the country.
“Since 2019 the trains had been running intermittently, and as a result, revenue dropped to Rs 7 million. But with the surge of Covid-19, currently passenger revenue has come to a complete standstill,” he added.
Only essential services such as transport of oil and medicine to Vavuniya, Peradeniya, Batticaloa, Galle, Haputale and Katunayake are functioning as of now.
Thus, there is maintenance work taking place on several railway lines.
After Covid-19 travel restrictions were eased, the department will be able to provide a more affordable and attractive railway service.
He said that some shortcomings in the railway line were being rectified and that teams had been deployed to clear the railway tracks that had been covered with grass.
Deputy General Manager of SLRD, Vajira Polwatta, said that the department had lost Rs 15 million in daily revenue.
He further stated that among the existing train services, only fuel transportation, medical facilities transportation and transportation of Prima flour products are being carried out.