The railways facilities were used 50 years ago as the main mode of transportation of agricultural products, tea and other export crops products, fuel and fertilizer in Sri Lanka, today this mode of transportation has been transformed into the means of conveyance on the highways. As a result, transportation costs have skyrocketed, and wastes, traffic congestions, and pollutions also have drastically increased.
As a solution for this, it was decided at a meeting held under the chairmanship of Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage to re-use the railway facilities for the transportation of agricultural products.
It was further proposed to transport fertilizer directly through Colombo and Trincomalee Ports and transport commercial vegetables, fruits and tea as well as export crops produce to urban areas covering the North and South regions including highland farm lands. It was also decided to set up de-freezers facilities in the railway carriages for transportation of fish products.
The Minister further stated that the state fertilizer companies spend Rs. 650 million per year for the transportation of fertilizer and it is intended to reduce the transportation cost by 50% by using railways facilities.
Minister of Agriculture Mahindananda Aluthgamage, State Minister Mohan de Silva andState Minister Jayantha Samaraweera, Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Secretaries of the State Ministries, Chairmen of Government Fertilizer Companies, General Manager of Railways, Chairman of the Ports Authority including other officials were present on this occasion.