49111-003: Colombo Suburban Railway Project | Asian Development Bank

Sri Lanka: Colombo Suburban Railway Project

Sovereign (Public) Project | 49111-003 Status: Proposed

The Colombo Suburban Railway Project will support the modernization of the railway network in the Western Province of Sri Lanka. The project will initially focus on the 64 kilometers (km) Veyangoda- Colombo Fort- Panadura section.

Project Details

Project Officer
Roesner, Markus South Asia Department Request for information
Country
  • Sri Lanka
Sector
  • Transport
 
Project Name Colombo Suburban Railway Project
Project Number 49111-003
Country
Project Status Proposed
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Loan
Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
Loan: Colombo Suburban Railway Electrification Project
Ordinary capital resources US$ 600.00 million
TA: Colombo Suburban Railway Project
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 1.00 million
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Governance and capacity development
Private sector development
Sector / Subsector

Transport / Transport policies and institutional development - Urban public transport

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Some gender elements
Description

The Colombo Suburban Railway Project will support the modernization of the railway network in the Western Province of Sri Lanka. The project will initially focus on the 64 kilometers (km) Veyangoda- Colombo Fort- Panadura section.

The project will improve the capacity and operating speed of the railway network in the Colombo Metropolitan Region (CMR) by modernizing and upgrading track, signaling and telecommunication infrastructure; and potentially electrifying the suburban railway lines, focusing initially on the 64 km Veyangoda- Colombo Fort- Panadura section. The project will also support procurement of fast and modern commuter trains and modernization of rolling stock maintenance facilities, and upgrade railway stations to provide improved intermodal connectivity with other modes of public transport and through park-and-ride facilities at selected stations. The project will increase the capacity and attractiveness of the railway system, thus increasing its market share and reducing road congestion by shifting passengers to rail transport. The project will be designed on a modular basis to allow future expansion, e.g. until the Puttlam Line and Colombo Airport or until Galle, Kanday and the Kelani Valley Line and Battaramulla, and connect to Colombo Port.

The project is in line with ADB's Country Partnership Strategy 2012-2016, as it supports inclusive and sustainable economic growth by developing viable multimodal transport systems, including railways and the public transport system. The ensuing project will be processed as a project loan; the scope will be defined by the project preparatory technical assistance (PPTA) and project preparation including design and support for procurement and safeguards will be provided under a proposed technical assistance loan (TA loan).

The impact will be economic activities, the environment, and health of residents of CMR improved, aligned with the Government of Sri Lanka's Strategic Plan for Transport Management in the CMR. The outcome will be improved transport capacity in the suburban railway network of Sri Lanka Railways (SLR). The outputs will be (i) 64 km of infrastructure upgraded and modernized; (ii) XXX new trains commissioned; and (iii) project implementation capacity strengthened.

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

The Western Province, which is also identified as the CMR, is on the western seaboard of Sri Lanka. The CMR extends over 3,684 km2 (5.6% of the land surface of Sri Lanka) with a population of 5.8 million (29% of the country), leading to the highest population density of 1,581 persons/km2 among Sri Lanka's nine provinces. Colombo district, one of the three districts in CMR, with a population of 2.3 million in 2012, is the most urbanized with 54.6% of Sri Lanka's urban population. Western provincial share of the national gross domestic product (GDP) is around 43.4% and has recorded the highest per capita income of SLRs 372,814 (approx. $2,922) in 2012. The GDP of Sri Lanka is expected to grow by 6.5% annually from 2015 to 2035 and the population by 1.5% over the same period.

The development of the railway network in Sri Lanka started in 1864. Currently ten railway network, which consists of around 1,500 route-km, is operated by the Department of SLR. Almost 90% of the railway network of the country is single track, with 126 km of double tracks, 14 km of three tracks and 3 km of four tracks with all multiple lines located within the CMR. The network covers much of the CMR along four major corridors, namely Main Line, Coastal Line, Kelani Valley Line and Puttlam Line totaling to 230 km. Railway provides an important service during the peak period as it acts as a commuter service from the outer suburbs to central Colombo.

There are long distance trains and commuter trains operated in the CMR. Out of the four railway lines radiating from Colombo and serving the CMR, the Main Line and the Coastal Line are well patronized especially during peak periods. The Puttlam Line and the Kelani Valley Line are single track and not as attractive due to low train speeds and frequencies. The Colombo Fort to Maradana section has the highest passenger volume of 136,438 passengers per day, followed by the Maradana to Ragama section with 120,876 passengers per day. The train frequency between Maradana and Fort is 228 trains per day, transporting on average around 950 passengers per train followed by the Maradana to Ragama section, with 150 trains per day carrying on average around 750 passengers per train. The Coastal Line is also fully utilized with an average passenger volume of 800- 1,100 per train.

On average over 110,000 passengers per direction enter the Colombo city by rail during a normal working day, which translates into around 13% of all passenger movements. Its contribution to freight transport is much less at around 3%. Due to a lack of track capacity in the urban railway network and lack of sufficient infrastructure at the two main railway stations in Colombo, the market share of the railway network is stagnant and trains often get delayed.

The low operating speed of the railway system is another reason for the stagnant ridership. The average speed on the Main Line is around 33 kilometers per hour (kph) while the speed on the coastal line is around 28 kph. Some sections on the Coast Line have very low speeds. Between Panadura and Ratmalana for example, the operating speed is around 18 kph while it is around 24 kph between Ratmalana and Fort. The operational speeds in these sections are even lower than that of the Kelani Valley line, which is around 25 kph.

Long delays also occur due to failures in the signaling system especially during rainy days, and the frequent failures of an outdated communication system. The poor track condition and lack of maintenance of the tracks also contribute to long delays. High loading level is another issue on the Main Line and the Coast Line especially during the peak period.

Impact economic activities, the environment, and health of residents of Colombo Metropolitan Region improved (Strategic Plan for Transport Management in the Colombo Metropolitan Region, Sub Project A: Review and Improvement of the Master Plan, Ministry of Transport, Colombo, Sri Lanka, March 2015)
Outcome Transport capacity in the suburban railway network of Sri Lanka Railway improved
Outputs

1. Infrastructure upgraded and modernized

2. New trains commissioned

3. Project implementation capacity strengthened

Geographical Location
Safeguard Categories
Environment B
Involuntary Resettlement A
Indigenous Peoples C
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects

Studies to prepare this project will be undertaken by the TA loan. The tasks include (i) assessing the environmental and social safeguard impact of the project including assessing climate change risks, and (ii) preparing safeguard documentation for the project and review the safeguard categorization for the project. A poverty and social analysis will be prepared to assist in developing pro-poor design features, undertake stakeholder consultation and participation, and developing mitigation measures beyond safeguard requirement such as compliance with core labor standards and/or national labor laws and HIV/AIDS prevention program. The initial poverty and social assessment has been provided in Appendix 4 of the concept paper.

The Environment Expert will prepare (i) an environmental categorization form and rapid environmental assessment checklist; and (ii) an initial environmental examination (IEE) in accordance with ADB's Safeguard Policy Statement (2009) including climate change assessments. The scope of environmental due diligence will entail assessment of impacts due to (i) construction within the port, (ii) electrification of the 64 km Veyangoda Colombo Fort Panadura rail section (ii) rehabilitation of the railway links and rolling stock maintenance facilities, (iii) new rail link if any and (iv) the dry ports and connecting roads. The environmental considerations will require assessment of environmental improvement due to diversion of cargo from the roads near port. The environmental analysis shall also include analysis of alternatives for each of the sites of the dry ports considered in the study.

Involuntary Resettlement

Studies to prepare this project will be undertaken by the TA loan. The tasks include (i) assessing the environmental and social safeguard impact of the project including assessing climate change risks, and (ii) preparing safeguard documentation for the project and review the safeguard categorization for the project. A poverty and social analysis will be prepared to assist in developing pro-poor design features, undertake stakeholder consultation and participation, and developing mitigation measures beyond safeguard requirement such as compliance with core labor standards and/or national labor laws and HIV/AIDS prevention program. The initial poverty and social assessment has been provided in Appendix 4 of the concept paper.

The Resettlement Expert will (i) Advise and collaborate with technical team during project selection and design to ensure resettlement impact is minimized or mitigated, (ii) Prepare Involuntary Resettlement (IR) screening and impact categorization checklists, and (iii) Prepare Resettlement Plans (RPs) or other relevant safeguard planning documents such as land acquisition due diligence reports in accordance with government regulations, ADB Safeguard Policy Statement (2009) and other related policies such as the ADB Public Communications Policy (2011).

Indigenous Peoples

Studies to prepare this project will be undertaken by the TA loan. The tasks include (i) assessing the environmental and social safeguard impact of the project including assessing climate change risks, and (ii) preparing safeguard documentation for the project and review the safeguard categorization for the project. A poverty and social analysis will be prepared to assist in developing pro-poor design features, undertake stakeholder consultation and participation, and developing mitigation measures beyond safeguard requirement such as compliance with core labor standards and/or national labor laws and HIV/AIDS prevention program. The initial poverty and social assessment has been provided in Appendix 4 of the concept paper.

The Social Development Expert will prepare (i) Poverty and Social Analysis (PSA) report in accordance with ADB's Handbook on Poverty and Social Analysis: A Working Document (2012), (ii) Indigenous Peoples screening and impact categorization checklist, and (iii) Indigenous Peoples Plan (IPP), if required, in accordance with ADB Safeguard Policy Statement (2009) and other related policies such as the Public Communications Policy (2011). The scope shall include assessing and exploring possible gender measures, labor standards, and HIV, trafficking, road safety and other social risks, as identified in the Initial Poverty and Social Assessment.

Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design Workshops, community mobilization, surveys and consultation conducted for origin/destination and rail use, ways to raise awareness on HIV/AIDs, human trafficking, child labor, environment and social safeguard issues. Poor and excluded affected persons impacted by land acquisition are consulted and surveyed. Additional assistance and provisions such as livelihood rehabilitation will be outlined in Resettlement Plan.
During Project Implementation -
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services A consulting firm will be recruited for the PPTA using the quality and cost-based selection method with full technical proposal and a quality to cost ratio of 90:10 due to the specialized technical requirements and the nature of this project as a multidisciplinary railway project. Individual consultants will be recruited, if required, to support SLR's capacity in project management and safeguards implementation. All consultants will be selected in accordance with ADB's Guidelines on the Use of Consultants (2013, as amended from time to time).
Procurement Procurement to be financed from the loan will be carried out in accordance with ADB's Procurement Guidelines (2015, as amended from time to time). The contracts for civil works and procurement of goods estimated at more than $15 million and $2 million respectively, will be procured through international competitive bidding procedures. ADB standard bidding documents for large works with post qualification under the single-stage, two-envelope system will be adopted. Advance procurement action and retroactive financing for works, goods and consulting services is proposed to enhance project readiness.
Responsible ADB Officer Roesner, Markus
Responsible ADB Department South Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Transport and Communications Division, SARD
Executing Agencies
Sri Lanka Railways
Sri Lankan Railways, Colombo 10, Sri Lanka
Timetable
Concept Clearance 11 Dec 2015
Fact Finding 06 Mar 2017 to 17 Mar 2017
MRM 02 Jun 2017
Approval -
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 29 Sep 2016

Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.

The Public Communications Policy (PCP) recognizes that transparency and accountability are essential to development effectiveness. It establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced.

The Accountability Mechanism provides a forum where people adversely affected by ADB-assisted projects can voice and seek solutions to their problems and report alleged noncompliance of ADB's operational policies and procedures.

In preparing any country program or strategy, financing any project, or by making any designation of, or reference to, a particular territory or geographic area in this document, the Asian Development Bank does not intend to make any judgments as to the legal or other status of any territory or area.

Title Document Type Document Date
Colombo Suburban Railway Project: Project Preparatory Technical Assistance Report Project Preparatory Technical Assistance Reports Dec 2015
Colombo Suburban Railway Project: Initial Poverty and Social Analysis Initial Poverty and Social Analysis Dec 2015

Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards

Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.

None currently available.

Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

None currently available.

Related Publications

None currently available.


The Public Communications Policy (PCP) establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced in its operations to facilitate stakeholder participation in ADB's decision-making. For more information, refer to the Safeguard Policy Statement, Operations Manual F1, and Operations Manual L3.

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