Saturday, 23 May 2020 09:05

President provides proposals to put brakes on SLTB losses

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has mooted a set of proposals, including implementing park and ride programs and reducing wastage and corruption of employees, to transform Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) into a profit-earning entity.

The President had said SLTB could be evolved into a State organisation that can contribute to the national coffers instead of seeking funds from it during a discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat on Thursday (21 May) to review the current status of SLTB, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said in a statement.

The President highlighted the necessity of attracting those who are traveling to work in their own vehicles to the public transport system. As a remedy to ease the traffic congestion, he proposed immediately implementing the ‘park and drive’ method. He also recommended adding buses with required facilities to the existing fleet.

A dedicated school bus service for children should be promoted while giving priority to the safety of children, the President said. It was discussed to paint the school buses yellow and give preference to school buses on roads. President Rajapaksa emphasised the importance of colour-coding for private and SLTB buses.

Appropriate measures to encourage employees, new strategies, minimising wastage, and putting an end to corruption were the other areas that came under discussion during the session. In addition, the President highlighted the necessity for conducting regular assessments and research with regard to the improvement of the institute.

He added that around 4,500 highly-skilled mechanics are working for the SLTB and their expertise could be utilised for outside maintenance work, thereby earning an additional income for the Government. The President pointed out that the SLTB possesses unutilised land across the country and proper management of these assets could bring in extra income.

President Rajapaksa added that the SLTB is capable of transporting agricultural crops from remote areas to the suburbs, benefitting both farmers and consumers equally. He went on to note the significance of improving the standards of training schools and enhancing the knowledge of the employees at training schools simultaneously. President Rajapaksa advised the entire process should move forward with short-, mid- and long-term strategies.

Secretary to the President P.B Jayasundera, Sri Lanka Transport Board Chairperson Kingsley Ranawaka, CEO Sagara Heman Waduge, Director General (Public Enterprises) Athula Kumara, and several other Board members were present at the meeting.


(FT)

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