ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday March 2, 2008
Vol. 42 - No 40
Kandy Times  

Kandy rails raring to go

Chevron Sri Lanka launches refurbishment project at historic Railway Station

By Dhananjani Silva

Kandy Railway station

Kandy Railway Station- one of the country's busiest railway stations, which has a history of more than 140 years, is undergoing a facelift with the new refurbishment project, launched by Chevron Sri Lanka now underway. Estimated at an initial cost of Rs.7 million, this comprehensive refurbishment project is expected to be completed by June 2008, prior to the SAARC summit scheduled to be held in Kandy this year.

According to the CEO of Chevron Sri Lanka, Kishu Gomes, in addition to the number of visual changes done, the project will be a comprehensive one that will include certain changes that will not be seen by the public; for example, the revamping of the hitherto hazardous drainage system.

Currently, in the event of heavy rainfall, the station goes under water, hampering railway operations for a couple of hours, the Kandy Times learns. However, this situation will be rectified by the new project where a significant sum will be allocated to upgrade the drainage system.

As a part of the beautification of the station premises to make it a pleasant place for commuters, landscaping the garden, car park and the main entrance, colour washing of the station building and renovation of lobby flooring will also be done. In addition, enhancing of the facilities for commuters such as installation of new platform benches, waste collection facilities, televisions for passengers, renovation of ladies' and gents' rest rooms and waiting rooms, is also a part of th initiative where upon the Chevron CEO says that there will be a kind of 'international ambience' at the station on completion.

Mr. Gomes said that Kandy Station being a very old railway station required some upgrading let alone the fact that Kandy is a unique city with many places of religious and cultural importance. Economically, too, it is important because even with technical issues, currently the Colombo-Kandy train run takes only about two and half hours whereas if you take the road, it takes about four and half hours, he said.

"However, this is purely a Corporate Social Responsible Act (CSR) where the donors will not be benefited," he added. The project was inaugurated recently at the Kandy Railway Station with the Transport Minister, the Diyawadana Nilame, the Governor, Central Province and other distinguished guests being present.

CEO of Chevron Sri Lanka, Kishu Gomes

Meanwhile, the station master of the Kandy Railway Station, S. A. Malik who commended the programme said that Chevron came up with the project at a time when they had alerted the authorities to a number of issues pertaining to the railway station.

He said that commuters had to face a lot of inconveniences due to the overflowing of the toilets which were constructed about 50 years ago, a troublesome drainage system, dilapidated restrooms and damaged platforms which were full of holes.

"It is indeed a praiseworthy act. Through this initiative all these problems will be resolved. There was hardly any renovations done except for the colour washing of the station building once a year during the Perahera season. However, this time there will be a totally new look at the Kandy Station and it is done in a very methodical way," he said. The Chevron company markets Caltex, Delo and Havoline branded lubricants to the Sri Lankan market.

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