Trains to Batticaloa back on track

[TamilNet, Saturday, 12 April 2003, 13:20 GMT]
Minister of Transportation of Government of Sri Lanka, Minister Upali Piyasoma ceremonially inaugurated the Polannaruwa to Batticaloa train service Saturday morning easing transportation to and from Batticaloa town, sources in Batticaloa said. Recent completion to repairs of the final stretch of the track from Valaichenai to Batticaloa paved the way for the opening of the Polannaruwa to Batticaloa service.

Batti Train service
Minister unveiling the name board (click for a larger picture)
In the inauguration run, the train started its journey in Colombo Fort railway station Friday night and reached Batticaloa station at 2.45pm Saturday. Minister Piyasoma participated in the inauguration run by traveling from Polannaruwa to Batticaloa. Polannaruwa parliamentarian G.H.P.Nelson, Advisor to Ministry of Planning Alizahir Moulana, General Commissioner of Railways, Priyalal De Silva and other officials also joined the minister for the final leg of the journey.

From Polannaruwa the train stopped in Rithithenna at 8.30am, where a foundation stone was laid for a new Railway station. The train then proceeded to Valaichchenai and from there to Kalkuda where the minister opened the new railway station.

The train next stopped near Vantharumoolai University Undergraduate Hostel where another foundation stone for a new Railway station was laid. Eravur station was the next stop where the station was ceremonially opened by the Minister.

Batti Train service
The final destination was Batticaloa station where the Minister unveiled the name board commemorating the reestablished train service.

On 31 October 1996, following a land mine explosion derailed a train transporting goods, train service on the Polannaruwa-Batticaloa line was suspended. Railway tracks and sleepers on a 50 km stretch from Punanai to Batticaloa were used by the security forces to reinforce and build checkpoints and observation posts. The presence of railway track was completely erased from that region. Material was allegedly sold for profit also.

Following the signing of Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of SriLanka (GOSL) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Polannaruwa to Valaichenai tracks were restored and the train service was restarted on 18 March 2002.

Batti Train service
Train arriving at Batticaloa(click for a larger picture)



Completion of the final leg of the railway track was a welcome relief to residents of Batticaloa, and residents assembled in large numbers to welcome the arrival of the first train after a lapse of seven years.

 

Latest 15 Reports
22.01.21 08:01   Photo
Gotabaya sets up deceptive COI citing ‘sovereignty’ and ‘non-aligned’ foreign policy
18.01.21 23:44   Photo
Tamil activists resisted three sources of outside influence while drafting demands to UNHRC
16.01.21 11:03  
Tamil national parties demand UN to inquire into crime of genocide and set up IIIM
09.01.21 09:37   Photo
Demolition of Tamil genocide monument, fourth emblematic trauma since 1974: Rev Fr Sakthivel
08.01.21 23:51   Photo
Colombo destroys Mu'l'livaaykkaal memorial monument at Jaffna University
07.01.21 11:22   Photo
With emphasis on genocide, Suresh calls for ICC-referral, IIIM and referendum
07.01.21 00:04   Photo
Boyle prefers IIIM demand over ICC-referral, says specific reference to genocide essential
06.01.21 14:26  
Indian Minister of External Affairs Jaishankar trades off Tamils’ sovereign rights
05.01.21 07:08  
TNPF's reluctance, NGO-meddling pose challenges to formulating joint Tamil demands to UN: Shivaji
06.12.20 15:44   Photo
Colombo’s brutal suppression of Tamil Heroes’ Day counter-productive to stated objectives: Tamil MP
27.11.20 16:44   Photo
Occupied Tamil Eelam marks Heroes' Day indoors, SL military detains seminary principal
16.11.20 18:45  
China launches world’s biggest regional trade agreement without Indian participation
31.10.20 10:58  
Tamils risk Kashmir-like status revocation if Gota continues Trinco military cooperation with US
06.10.20 11:40  
Poet Pulamaipithan who championed Tamil Eelam solidarity in Tamil Nadu turns 85
28.09.20 23:19   Photo
Muslims join Tamils opposing Colombo's suppression of Thileepan Remembrance in North
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=8762