By end of 2013, Yal Devi (Goddess of Jaffna) will again run to Kankesanthurai from Colombo.
The express train which was named in the 50s (though services commenced much earlier), had to be curtailed in the early 90s because of the war between the Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan forces. It was then terminated at Thandikulam, but now runs till Omanthai.
On Friday, IRCON and Sri Lanka Railways signed a Memorandum of Understanding to construct the US $ 150 million KKS- Pallai line.
Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Ashok K Kantha said that once the IRCON projects are completed, full connectivity will be restored till Thalaimannar. He said that the wreck removal works at the KKS harbour were on schedule and the harbour will be operational by middle of next year.
This would give a big fillip to connectivity with India since Nagapattinam was just over 60 miles away. The project in the Northern Province was not just about restoration of normalcy, it would signal full momentum of economic development, he said.
Work on the three IRCON railway projects – two in the north and one in the south – were going smoothly and all three projects will be completed on schedule if not ahead – middle of 2013, he added.
Railway Board (Member) A.P.Mishra said that the Indian Railways were always willing to help out Sri Lankan Railways whenever a request was made. Railways were the lifeline of India.