The Sri Lankan government Monday said it had not received any official communication from India to establish a road and rail link between India’s southern coast of Rameshwaram and Sri Lanka’s northern town of Talaimanner, an official said.
According to reports, the Indian government has asked the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to carry out a pre-feasibility study for financing the project across Palk Strait between India and Sri Lanka.
The project may be a combination of bridge and underwater tunnel which may allow unhindered movement of ships. As the project is in the conceptual stage, it is too early to comment on the time bound program of this project, reports quoted the Indian government as saying last week.
However, Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith Perera told Xinhua Monday that despite these reports, Sri Lanka was yet to be informed of any such proposal. Perera, who is a candidate from the ruling United National Party (UNP) for the August 17 parliamentary elections, nonetheless said that if his party wins the polls and continues in government, they would consider India’s proposal if it is officially communicated.
However, he stressed that the negatives and positives of such a project would have to be carefully studied along with the social and economic impact it would have on both countries before discussing the matter further. “It is a massive project which has to be thoroughly studied before any decision can be made,” Perera said.
In the past, a short boat ride used to connect the railway lines that ended at Thalaimannar in Sri Lanka and Dhanushkodi in India, which was in operation till 1966.(Xinhua)