Former Matara mayor Upul Nishantha has asked the transport minister to cancel the extension of the ‘Ruhunu Kumari’ train to Beliatta from 01 January.
For nearly seven decades, this express train had linked Matara and Maradana and ‘Ruhunu Kumari’ is synonymous with Matara, Nishantha said in a letter to Bandula Gunawardena.
With its extension to Beliatta, early morning commuters from Matara will get no seating facilities in any express train to Colombo, he notes.
‘Ruhunu Kumari’ will play a key role when the government promotes the town this year as a tourism destination, said the UNP organizer for Matara in his letter.
Further in a facebook post, Nishantha described how the late minister Mangala Samaraweera intervened during the good governance regime to prevent a change in the train’s destination.
After being informed by him, the minister gave a phone call to transport minister Arjuna Ranatunga and got the decision changed, said Nishantha.
He asked in his letter to maintain ‘Ruhunu Kumari’ as an express train linking Colombo and Matara.