Chandre Dharmawardana, courtesy of the Island, 27 Nov. 2011
The Southern Expressway is an example of the government’s policy “to ensure that all segments of the country receive the dividends of development”, as stated in the Daily News article announcing the “Gateway to Wonder” (Daily News 26-11-2011). The integrity and governability of a nation depend on its transport system. The Romans knew it. The British were quick to build roads and railways, to move troops and haul commercial products to imperial markets. Since then, Sri Lanka’s roadways stagnated at the level of the British era, while the gross population quadrupled.
The road usage increased much faster. Hence any type of road improvement is an essential step. The present government has done wonders in the Eastern Province, and things are moving mightily in the North. However, it is also time to look to the future – even just ten years from now. The southern highway is the first and longest unit of the proposed network of expressways for Sri Lanka. Naively, one would think that this would unclog the roads, and the expressways would enable people to get to any part of Lanka in no time. Continue reading