President Gotabaya Rajapaksa instructed the officials to rectify the technical faults in train compartments imported during the previous government's tenure and put them into operative status immediately.
The President gave these instructions during the progress review meeting of the Transport Ministry and the State Ministry of Vehicle Regulation, Bus Transport Services and Train Compartments and Motor Car Industry held at the Presidential Secretariat last Monday (14).
160 sets of train compartments were ordered during the last administration. At present, 120 compartments of that order have been imported to the country, and out of which only 40 train compartments have been added to the service.
The President instructed the officials to use all the train compartments that have not been added to the service so far.
President Rajapaksa also pointed out that the buses that can be used but have been taken out of service should be repaired and added to the short distance transport services and it will provide an opportunity to meet the transport needs of the people in rural areas.
The President instructed the relevant officials to work with all trade unions and workers in a friendly manner to resolve the problems in the transport sector and stressed the need of all parties working with proper understanding to halt the trade union actions that oppress the people.
Attention should be paid to maintaining the transport sector in a streamlined manner. Many of the difficulties can be averted by streamlining the technology and rules and regulations. The President also instructed the authorities to launch a passenger service targeting the tourists in tourist zones.
The officials pointed out that the existing overstaffing was a serious issue. The President asked the officials to immediately come up with programs to provide proper training to recruited employees without removing any.
After paying attention to possible future fuel crises and environmental issues, the possibility of importing 100 electric buses for passenger transport was discussed at length.
The President also stressed the need for everyone to pay attention to the grievances of the people regarding the transport service and to provide a transport service of high quality. Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa said that the government is not prepared to increase bus fares and cause inconvenience to the commuters. He also said that some of the current issues in the transport service can be solved by preventing corruption and irregularities in the transport sector.
Ministers Basil Rajapaksa, Pavithra Wanniarachchi, State Minister Dilum Amunugama, Secretary to the President Gamini Senarath, Secretary to the Transport Ministry Monti Ranatunga, Secretary to the State Ministry S.M.D.L.K. De Alwis, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Transport Board Kingsley Ranawaka, General Manager of Railways J.I.D. Jayasundara and other officials of the line agencies were also present.
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