Marking the island nation’s 75th Independence anniversary, India has handed over another 50 buses to strengthen the rural transport services in Sri Lanka. The latest fleet of vehicles is part of the 500 buses to be handed over to Sri Lanka, and the relevant documents were officially given to President Ranil Wickremesinghe by Gopal Bagley, Indian High Commissioner in Colombo. In January, India gave 75 buses as part of its support to strengthen the transport of its southern neighbor which is going through its worst economic crisis since the 1948 independence from the British colony.
So far, India has handed over 165 buses as the registration of 40 is already being done, the President’s Media Division (PMD) stated. “Arrangements have been made to deliver a total of 500 buses by March and complete the project,” the PMD added.
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President Wickremesinghe has instructed to use all the buses received from India to strengthen the transport services in rural Sri Lanka. Handing over 75 buses in January, the Indian High Commission stated that the assistance given as part of its `Neighbourhood First` policy was to support mobility and accessibility in Sri Lanka.
“Five hundred buses are being supplied to Sri Lanka through Indian assistance towards strengthening public transport infrastructure,” the High Commission had stated. India has also handed over 125 SUVs to the Sri Lanka Police under the line of credit to help with the mobility restriction issues faced by the security personnel.
(With inputs from IANS)