Millions worth of Train Carriages dumped in Puttalam Station | Daily News

Millions worth of Train Carriages dumped in Puttalam Station

Minister Dr. Gunawardena orders comprehensive inquiry

Transport, Highways and Media Minister Dr.Bandula Gunawardena has directed the ministry officials to conduct an immediate investigation as to why millions worth of train carriages have been dumped in Puttalam railway station.

The railway unions have alleged that 10 Chinese built train carriages worth over several millions have been dumped in Puttalam. It is said that the Railways Department bought these train carriages from China in 2009 and 2010. These train carriages had been dumped in Puttalam several months ago. It is said that these carriages had been imported during the 2009, 2010 period. 

The unions claim that during this period around 100 Chinese train compartments were imported to the country. The railway unions had highlighted the issue with the Chinese train carriages and their breaks system, but the minister at the time Dullas Alahapperuma had disregarded their warning and had gone ahead with the purchase.

The unions charge that while hundred such carriages were imported, only a few carriages are being out to use while the majority of these carriages have been discarded causing huge losses to the country.

By discarding these carriages, the public have been seriously inconvenienced and they have been done great harm and the unions allege that all those involved in importing these carriages should be held responsible for it. Among the carriages that are discarded at the Puttalam station there are two Second Class carriages as well. These carriages are still in a good usable condition and the public charge that this is a blatant waste of public money as most of these carriages are still new.

Commenting on the issue, Convenor of Railway Trade Union Alliance, S.P. Vithanage said, “By importing these train carriages they have wasted the country’s money. The Railways Department imports train carriages with the aim of getting commissions. These carriages have no defect in them, but they are discarded. Similarly, even during the time, Nimal Siripala de Silva was the transport minister, such train carriages were imported from India. The country does not need such a large amount of railway carriages. By importing so many carriages they have caused an unnecessary burden on the Railways Department.

“That is why we pointed out to them the issue with the brakes system of these carriages and told the minister that these brakes systems are not compatible with our system. Now these carriages have been bought at such a high cost and they are discarded,” he added.

Railways General Manager W.A.D. S.Gunasinghe said he was not aware of this situation. “I took office only a few days ago and I am not aware of this situation. However, I will look into this matter and take appropriate action,” he said.

When contacted Minister Dr.Bandula Gunawardena by the Daily News yesterday, he said that he has sought a comprehensive report over this revelation from the officials concerned. The Minister said that he has still been in charge of the Ministry for about two months and the incident related to the railway carriages revealed by media has not been reported to him so far.

He said that he will go to Puttalam with the officials to inspect these carriages within next few days. “We will find out whether it is possible to add them to the present fleet. “If so, we will take appropriate measures accordingly, he said


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