The Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Sri Lanka (CCCSL) on Friday rejected the accusation by the new government that the Southern Railway project in the island nation was constructed on a higher cost than the Northern Railway project.
Rejecting a statement by the country's deputy minister of economic development, the CCCSL said that according to the relevant Chinese contractor involved in the Southern Railway project, the deputy minister's allegations were baseless.
"The Northern railway is a project that is being rebuilt on an existing hard foundation.
There is no need to build a road bed for the project," a spokesperson from the CCCSL said.
"The Southern Railway is a newly built one facing very complicated geological conditions in the south, such as marshy lands, rivers and lakes.
The Southern Railway needs to finish a lot of hard work including a 21.59 km embankment, 47 culverts, 17 underpasses, 2 tunnels, 4 railway stations, 2 sub stations and 30. 08 km track work," the spokesperson said.
The CCCSL further said that the costs of the project were firstly negotiated between the Sri Lankan Ministry of Transport and the Chinese company in charge and the costs were approved by the ministry.
"Sri Lankan negotiators tried their best to save every single rupee for their people and their country.
Their loyalty should not be looked down upon. The reason why the Sri Lankan side chose the Chinese company was because it maintains a high standard, high quality and a comparative low cost," the CCCSL added.