The ‘National Physical Plan and Policy’ presented by pseudo patriot Wimal Weerawansa while being the Minister of Construction, Engineering services, Housing and Common Amenities in January 2011 had proposed a railway line a road and a communication line connecting Sri Lanka and India across Palk Strait.
The plan to join Sri Lanka with India was presented stating thee is a population of 1470 million in the South Asian Region and Sri Lanka would have access to this population through the bridge across the Palk Strait.
It states “Proposals to link Sri Lanka with the South Asian mainland by road and rail, such as the Asian Highway and Trans-Asian Railway (Figures 3 and 4) would drastically change Sri Lanka’s trade and exchange with India and other South Asian neighbors.” And adds that “A Railway bridge crossing appears to be the least cost mode of direct connection based on available data. Initially a single-line railway may be installed which could be converted to a double line later. The advantage of a railway crossing over the ship crossing is the continuity of passage without the need for transfer of modes,” and “It is undisputed that due to the close proximity to the Indian Subcontinent, setting up of the proposed Asian highway link between Sri Lanka and India would benefit Sri Lanka immensely.”
And the benefits mentioned in the proposal are
1. Promotion of International transport and regional integration.
2. Main Access to Sri Lanka for gas and oil resources at Bangladesh.
3. Link of areas of economic activities such as main agricultural and industrial centers.
4. Connections to main sea ports thereby increase of container handling and logistic supply.
5. Major cargo input to ports at Colombo and Hambanthota from and to Indian Subcontinent.
6. Development of tourist industry by connection to major tourist destination.
Mr. Udaya Gammanpila was very critical regarding a move to build a bridge across Palk Strait and did not hesitate to refer to ‘Hanuma’ in ‘Ramayanaya’ the monkey king that set fire to Sri Lanka. However,
It is not very clear whether Mr. Udaya Gammanpila meant Mr. Wimal Weerawansa when he talked about ‘Hanuma’.