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Thieves cause Rs.6mn in damages to Kelani Bridge & Rs.200mn to E03

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The reports that copper wires and nails worth more than Rs.280 million have been removed from the newly constructed Golden Gate Kalyani built on loan assistance received from Japan is false, Road Development Authority (RDA) Director General L. V. S. Weerakoon said.

He said that there were many false reports circulating in the media that there has been a loss of Rs.280 million due to the nails of the New Kelani Bridge being removed, and that it is unsafe to use the bridge. 

“The truth is that some people who entered the New Kelani Bridge and the Colombo–Katunayake Expressway (E03) without permission have caused damage. However, there has been no theft of the nails of the Kelani Bridge. The nails fixed there can only be removed with special equipment. However, there has been damages worth Rs. 6 million caused to the boards under the bridge, electrical cables connected to security cameras, GI pipes, etc,”

Rs.200 million loss to E03

“It has been reported that a cable in a 13 km-long section of the Katunayake Expressway has been cut in several places. The damage is estimated at Rs.200 million. Necessary steps have been taken in this regard.”

“After conducting several rounds of discussions with the Inspector General of Police, a special police unit has been installed to protect the Kelani Bridge. The investigative teams have managed to uncover important facts about the places where the stolen parts were sold and about the people who sold these items. Several people have been arrested for allegedly damaging the expressway. Special security arrangements are being followed in this regard. Last week, the National Security Council chaired by the President also discussed this matter. It was advised to prepare a special plan for the security of such places with the support of external security services as required in addition to the security provided by the police.”

“Many such incidents have been reported during the period when the electricity supply was restricted from time to time in the past. However, this information was not disclosed to the external parties sooner as it may have hampered the investigations carried out by the security forces. Accordingly, I can confirm that the nails of the Kelani Bridge have not been removed. All necessary security arrangements are being implemented to prevent such acts of vandalism in the future,” he said.

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Expressways generate whopping income during Avurudu season

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The expressways have generated an income of Rs. 159,802,950 from April 10 – 13, Road Development Authority (RDA) says.

According to the Director of Expressway Operation Maintenance and Management Division – R.A.D. Kahatapitiya.

Over 4,350,000 vehicles have used the expressways during this period, he has added.
As many as 366,000 vehicles have used the expressways during this three-day period.

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Special transport arrangements to those returning to Colombo

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Special train services are in operation from this evening (April 14) for people to return to Colombo after the Sinhala and Tamil New Year holidays, the Railways Department said.

Deputy General Manager of Sri Lanka Railways –  N.J. Indipolage stated that accordingly, eight additional train journeys will be in operation from Badulla, Galle and Beliatta railway stations to Colombo Fort.

The Department of Railways also mentioned that the office trains will be operational as per usual from April 16.

Meanwhile, the National Transport Commission has said that special buses will be deployed to transport those who had gone to their hometowns during the New Year.
Bus associations have also stated that buses to Colombo will be operational.

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Local multi-day fishing trawler seized with ICE & heroin worth over Rs. 3798 Mn.

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In another successful intelligence operation of the Sri Lanka Navy, a local multi-day fishing trawler (01) carrying a large haul of narcotics, with 06 suspects aboard, were intercepted about 133 nautical miles (about 246 km) off Dondra, south of Sri Lanka. 

The operation also resulted in the seizure of another local one-day fishing trawler (01) with 04 suspects, believed to have been there to fetch the consignment of narcotics mid-sea. The operation was mounted by deploying Sri Lanka Coast Guard Ship (SLCG) Samudraraksha which made the apprehension on 12th April 2024.

 The haul of narcotics included about 179kg and 906g of crystal methamphetamine (Ice) and about 83kg and 582g of heroin (with their packages). The Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera arrived at the Galle Harbour on 13th April to inspect the consignment of narcotics held in this operation.
The Sri Lanka Navy and Coast Guard regularly patrol and conduct search operations along the island’s coast to prevent illegal activities, such as drug trafficking, stemming via sea routes.

During this dedicated operation based on naval intelligence, a suspicious multi-day fishing trawler, which was about 133 nautical miles (246 km) off the south coast of the island, was intercepted and searched by SLCG Samudraraksha. As the fishing trawler was suspected of smuggling a haul of crystal methamphetamine and heroin in 17 sacks, during the search, the narcotic-carrying trawler was held on 12th April, with 06 suspects aboard.

Additionally, SLCG Samudraraksha inspected another local one-day fishing trawler, which was plying suspiciously in the sea area. During the inspection, 04 suspects were apprehended, along with the trawler, on suspicion of attempting to exchange narcotics with the multi-day trawler previously seized.

Following a thorough search of the suspicious multi-day fishing trawler at the Galle Harbour on 13th April, authorities recovered 17 sacks containing crystal methamphetamine and heroin. The haul of crystal methamphetamine, weighing about 179kg and 906g (including packages), were in 129 packages, stuffed in 13 sacks and the stash of heroin, weighing about 83kg and 582g (including packages), were in 76 packages, contained in 04 sacks. The consignment of narcotics, along with the 06 suspects and the multi-day fishing trawler was handed over to the Police Narcotic Bureau (PNB) for onward legal action.

Moreover, the 04 individuals, along with the one-day fishing trawler, which were seized on suspicion of being involved in a drug exchange at sea, were also handed over to PNB for further legal action.

The individuals held in the operation are known to reside in the Weligama, Imaduwa, and Galle areas, ranging in age from 23 to 54 years old. Meanwhile, the gross street value of the consignment of drugs seized during this operation is believed to be more than Rs. 3798 million.

Including the recent confiscation, the Sri Lanka Navy has held drugs with a gross street value of over Rs. 9300 million during operations mounted so far in 2024. The Sri Lanka Navy – the country’s first line of defence is committed to coordinating with other law enforcement authorities, to carry out anti-drug operations of this nature in order to foil drug smuggling attempts being made in the guise of fishing.

(navy.lk)

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