Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates the restored North-South Rail link of Sri Lanka
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 14 March 2015 flagged off the first train from Thalaimannar to Madhu Road in North Sri Lanka.
It marks the completion and restoration of the prestigious project of Indian Railways to restore the North-South Rail link of Sri Lanka after decades of civil war. The North-South Rail link was completely destroyed by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) militants during the civil war in 1980s.
- The rail project connects the Sri Lanka’s Jaffna province to capital Colombo and a branch line connects Thalaimannar to the main rail line.
- The project has been implemented by Indian Railway Construction Company Limited (IRCON) International, a subsidiary of Indian Railways.
- Indian Government had provided line of credit to this project as part of India’s bid to establish better connectivity between SAARC nations.
This project will also play significant role in establishing connectivity between both nations as ferry service soon will be started from north-western Sri Lankan town of Talaimannar (the closest point to India) and Rameshwaram.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Anuradhapura shrine
- Prior to inaugurating this rail service, Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered prayers at the sacred Bodhi tree in Anuradhapura shrine.
- This is first time that an Indian Prime Minister is visiting Anuradhapura.
- The sacred Bodhi tree at Anuradhapura shrine was planted as a sapling of the original Bodhi tree, under which Lord Gautam Buddha had achieved enlightenment.
- It was planted 2000 years ago in Anuradhapura shrine which is considered as one of the most sacred places in Buddhism.