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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2525

Sri Lanka’s first Highways Museum now idles

By Sunil C.Perera - Reporting from Kandy

Colombo, 10 July, ( The government of Sri Lanka has forgotten its one and only Highways museum situated in Kiribathkubura, Pilimathalawa which can be develop as a tourist attraction. Some equipment is well over 175 year old, said first Keeper of the Highways Museum Mr.V.D.B.KandagollaSome equipment is well over 175 year old, said first Keeper of the Highways Museum Mr.V.D.B.Kandagolla

The museum was opened in 1986 by the Ministry of Highways and still managed by the Road Development Authority [RDA]

It includes Sri Lanka’s ancient road construction equipment such as stone road rollers, Steam Road Rollers, Oil Road Rollers Tar boilers Coal scales, Road signs and model of the Bogoda Wooden Bridge.

Some equipment are well over 175 year old, said first Keeper of the Highways Museum Mr.V.D.B.Kandagolla, who also is now a freelance journalist.

He said the museum was opened during the time of late Ranasigha Premadasa’s and the authorities were highly interested to develop the museum, but at present most of road rollers have decayed due to the lack of rain protection.

According to the sources, the Museum does not charge entrance fees from visitors. A number of local and foreign tourists have visited this museum.

‘If the authorities can charge an entrance fee from local and foreign tourists, the RDA can maintain the museum without government funds,” Mr.Kandagolla said.

“At present the museum lacks sufficient work force, and maintenance of machines displayed at the centre,” he said.

‘For instance, the Museum had built a wooden model of Bogoda Bridge using over three hundred thousand rupees. However it has no protection from rain. Some parts of the bridge have decayed due to the lack of maintenance, he said.

“Most of the road construction machineries displayed in this museum, are not available even in its mother companies which were manufactured,” he explained.

According to the upcountry hoteliers a number of foreigners regularly visit this ancient site.

“If the government levy an entrance fee, it would be a money-spinner,” the hoteliers said.

- Asian Tribune -

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