Safe haven for coast, Batticaloa line trains

Mar 31 (IL) The Transport Ministry is to initiate a special programme to protect commuters and trains in case of another tsunami.

Minister Felix Perera asked railway authorities at a meeting held at the Ministry yesterday to identify safe places along the Coast Line and Batticaloa Line where trains could be stopped in a tsunami type emergency.

"The Trains Control Room could swing into action when the need arises if there is a pre-planned arrangement like that," he said.

It was revealed at the meeting that after the tsunami warning was issued on Monday seven trains running at the time were safely stopped and all other Coast Line trains scheduled for the day were cancelled.

When it was confirmed that there was no danger the trains had resumed their runs, according to the authorities.

The minister said railway workers needed to work with a sense of responsibility during an emergency and also stressed the need to protect the Ratmalana Railway Workshop, which is situated close to the coast.

Also present at the meeting were General Manager of Railways Priyal De Silva, Transport Ministry Secretary D S Jayaweera and several railway officials