View from the train
Halik has another interesting idea, why not bring the Commonwealth Games to Colombo? Sri Lanka has put in a bid for Hambantota, but building public transport there has a long term effect of pissing off elephants. In Colombo it could actually be used by people. Note that following the Delhi debacle, I don’t think the hosting the games is a very good idea at all, but having them in Colombo is a better one.
A subway system would be ideal, as indi says, a good subway system can completely eliminate the need for cars. The Delhi Subway system cost somewhere around 700 million USD. Peanuts in comparison to how much we are borrowing for other projects of dubious worth. Maybe the Chinese can help us out with a loan and even expertise, the Beijing subway lines are superb; and are an excellent way of getting around in an otherwise smoky, congested city.
Both the Delhi and Beijing lines were conceptualised and hurried up because of the 2010 Commonwealth games and the Olympic Games respectively. The need to show off and provide seamless transport to attendees forced these cities to consider building what is probably the most efficient urban transport mechanism invented by man.
Colombo is the centre of the country still, the heart that pumps out all the country’s logistics. The main arteries of it are now getting clogged. If hosting big international games can bring a city a subway then Hambantota might end up getting one. But Hambantota doesn’t need a subway system, Colombo does. So bring the Commonwealth Games to Colombo, and build something useful to the economy in the process.
Anyways, Halik’s post on the Economics Of Colombo Traffic has all of this and more. Worth a read.