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Bandarawela Railway Station on track with modern facilities

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Minister of Transport, Highways and Mass Media, Dr. Bandula Gunawardhana presided over the handing over of the new building complex, consisting of a new railway track equipment room, foreign tourists’ rest room and restaurant at the Bandarawela Railway Station.

The Railway Department constructed this new building complex using the financial allocation of the Ministry of Tourism and Lands, to expand and enhance the facilities provided for commuters including foreign tourists who use the Bandarawela Railway Station, which is one of the most attractive railway stations in Sri Lanka, established in 1893.

“As the Minister in charge, I am happy to be able to contribute to this opportunity which will add new value to the area around the Bandarawela Railway Station.

Based on the Upcountry Railway, this area has become extremely popular among foreign tourists. As a result, the country gets a large dollar income through foreign tourists coming to the country, as well as a large demand and investment amount for local products. A lot of direct and indirect jobs are created. It helps raise the standard of living of the people.

Tourism attraction can also be increased by developing high-quality facilities aimed at tourists in the area. The Railway Department (RD)is having financial problems to make huge investments towards developing tourist attractions.

When I took charge of this ministry, the revenue of the RD was Rs. 2.6 billion. Rs. 2.3 billion of it was spent on overtime allowances and Rs. 7 billion for salaries. The RD suffered a loss of more than Rs. 10 billion.

With the contribution of everyone in the RD, the income has been increased to Rs. 13 billion through the new programme we have implemented. The annual expenditure has been reduced to Rs. 36 billion.

I would like to express my thanks to the Tourism Board for contributing Rs. 15 million to the development of facilities for tourists. The RD installed these new facilities at the railway station with a provision of Rs 5 million”, the Minister said.

Transport and Highways Ministry Secretary Ranjith Rubasinghe, MP Major Sudarshan Denipitiya, Railways General Manager (GM) H.M.K.W. Bandara, Deputy GM (Operations) V.S. Polwattage including RD officials, and Uva Provincial Tourism Ministry Director Sampath Pradeep Kumara Nissanka.

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