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Sri Lanka lifts curb on Indian locomotives

[Hindu, Saturday, 2 April 2011 08:45 No Comment]

Colombo hands over letter to RITES after New Delhi addressed its concerns

The Sri Lankan government has revoked the suspension imposed on the import of Indian locomotives and rolling stock after New Delhi addressed Colombo’s concerns.

A letter to this effect has been handed over to RITES (Rail India Technical and Economic Services) by the Sri Lankan Ministry of Transport, one official said.

A locomotive on the Galle-Matara section stopped mid-section on March 11, following an electrical short circuit leading to the Sri Lankan Ministry of Transport writing a strongly worded letter to RITES, suspending the contract for carrying out the remaining part of the work.

The locomotive resumed its journey in 20 minutes after the fault was set right. Apart from routine delays, there has been no other problem in the operation of the Diesel Electrical Multiple Units (DEMUs) in the Galle-Matara section.

In his letter to RITES about two weeks ago, the Sri Lankan Transport Secretary had said that the import of 17 DEMUs was being suspended until investigations into the quality of the locomotives were completed.

Sri Lankan Transport Minister Kumar Welgama was quoted in Daily Mirror as saying that Colombo could not waste public money on spurious imports.

Indian officials here said that after the incident a team from RITES arrived here last week and carried out a through study and concluded that the tinkering of the DEMUs, and adding of coaches more than its hauling capacity were among the reasons for the snapping of electrical supply in one part of the engine.

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