North – South connection before national New Year

Essential supplies to Jaffna by lorries tomorrow
By Chris Kamalendran

The A-9 or the Kandy – Jaffna road will be open for public transport before the Sinhala – Hindu New Year, a spokesman for the Ministry of Social Services and Welfare said yesterday.

The Government will also extend the railway services from Vavuniya to Omanthai – a stretch of eight kilometres - on March 19, while reconstruction of the railway track from Omanthai to Jaffna will commence on the same day.

The spokesman said that preparations on resuming public transport are currently being discussed and will be finalised in the next few weeks. Tomorrow the Government will officially declare open the A- 9 road for transport of goods between the South and the North, after a lapse of two and a half years.

Thirty six lorries carrying essential items including food such as rice, dhal, sugar and flour will leave from Omanthai tomorrow morning following an official function and the lorries will be returning to Colombo carrying products from Jaffna including fish, fruits and other agricultural products.

The first consignment to Jaffna will be carrying food items for displaced persons in Jaffna, Jaffna Government Agent K.Ganesh said.

Private traders would not be allowed to directly transport goods to Jaffna, but would have to hand over their goods at a given location in Colombo to be transported to Jaffna where the traders’ representatives will be able to collect their consignments at a warehouse complex in Navatkuli.

The road between Omanthai and Jaffna was closed for transport of goods and movement by civilians by the Government in August 2006 after the Muhamalai Army check point on the A9 road came under LTTE attack.

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