The undertaking of the Technical & Financial Feasibility Study of the Indo – Lanka Bridge is now timely. It
should not however consider the Bridge as a stand – alone entity. The latter often tends to happen
whenever an engineering marvel is involved in a development concept; whereas the focus of attention
should be on the people & businesses in the human settlements within it’s sub-regional economy. A key
feature in same will be the `Urban Growth Corridors’ which are inherently the Investment Corridors in the
coming years. Already, the BAMATRICO Corridor has been envisioned in the South India – Sri Lanka
sub-region to reflect the synergies of the Bangalore – Madras – Trincomalee – Colombo axis. Hence, the
Feasibility Study should encompass the wider scope of such integration in the future growth of the sub-
region. Both nations should understand the co-ordination that should exist between human activities,
irrespective of the territorial boundaries. As previously mentioned, the latter is the key lesson of
experience gained from the Øresund Fixed Link wherein such issues have caused much concern after it’s
The Feasibility Study should further include the specific investigation of the oceanography around the area
of the Palk Straits that links the Gulf of Mannar & Palk Bay. It could utilise the work being done at the
Centre for Atmospheric and Oceanic Science at the Indian Institute of Science at Bangalore. The latter
has been modelling water flows across the Palk Straits, simulating the ocean under different behavioural
patterns. It will therefore be helpful to investigate the regional oceanic behaviour by the construction of a
Land Bridge from Mannar to Rameshwaram where the Straits is largely shallow.
The above will also give a good understanding of the implications of possible environmental impact on
Biotic Life & Fisheries. The inclusion of such findings in the Feasibility Study will alleviate the flaw in
contemporary project appraisal practices wherein cost – benefit analysis fail to redress inequity between
those who benefit from the Project and those who bear the burden of its ill-effects.
The Feasibility Study should consider the relevance of establishing a Bi-lateral Overseeing Authority for
the Project which can be empowered to deal with cross – border issues of public management and
governance (such as the Transnational Authority proposed for the Øresund Straits Region). It should also
consider the options for establishing a Corporate Vehicle for the implementation & operation of the Land
Bridge, (similar to the Øresundsbro Konsortiet established for the Øresund Fixed Link). The latter must
necessarily have an `economic sense’ about the Bridge. It should include the commercial orientation of
`risk management’, although it may carry the Sovereign Guarantees of the two Governments. This would
then guide the assessment of the recovery period for the Investment on the Bridge; which when
contrasted with the Øresund Fixed Link may be upto 50 years. Consequently, it will necessarily be a long-
term investment which will be an ideal setting to raise funds from the Capital Market. Hence, it may mean
that a Rating will need to be obtained for same from any of the five global Raters, one of whom, Fitch
Ratings, has a base in Sri Lanka.
The alternative scenario is for one of the two Countries to bear the cost, as was done for the Bahrain
Causeway which was entirely funded by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. On the other hand, the cost of the
Indo – Lanka Bridge could consist of an Investment Portfolio of shared (but not equal) proportions
between the Governments of India & of Sri Lanka.
The costs of the Internal Access Roads will need to be met exclusively by each Country, modelled on a
suitable basis, whether it be BOT/BOO/BOOT.
The Schematic Perspective of the Indo – Lanka Bridge is attached at Exhibit 2.
INDO – LANKA LAND BRIDGE
- THE KEY PERSONALITIES
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe with
Indian President Abdul Kalam to explain plans Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe with Indian Prime
for the Indo – Lanka Road Network. Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, It was agreed by both that the
(Daily News : 03.03.2003) Indo – Lanka Bridge should be pursued by undertaking a
(Daily News : 12.06..2002)
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe handing over a
Concept Report on the proposed bridge between Sri Lanka
and India, to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha
(Daily News : 15.06.2002)
Minister of Economic Reforms, Science &
Technology, Milinda Moragoda with Chief Minister of Economic Reforms, Science & Technology,
Minister of Tamil Nadu Ms. Jayalalitha Milinda Moragoda with K.C.Pant, Deputy Chairman of
Jeyram. Indian Planning Commission for discussions on the Indo
(Daily News : 28.03.2003) – Lanka Land Bridge.
(Daily News : 28.08.2002)
Publications & Reports on the Indo - Sri Lanka Alliance
1. Mendis, Willie., (March 1996), Urbanisation & Urban Growth in Sri Lanka : Trends & Prospects, in Economic Review,
Vol.21.No.12, Publication of the Peoples’ Bank Research Department, Colombo.
2. Mendis, Willie., (June – August 1997), Corridors of Investment, Growth and Prosperity, in The Sri Lanka Architect
Vol.101.No.18, The Journal of the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects, Colombo.
3. India, Institute of Town Planners, (December 1997), Urban & Regional Planning Since Independence: Retrospect &
Prospects, Papers Presented at the 46th National Town & Country Planners Congress, Mysore.
4. Mendis, Willie (March 1998), Need for a National & International Network of Transportation & Communication Master
Plan, Paper Presented at the SLIA Seminar on “A Vision for an Integrated Development of the Built Environment for
the 21st Century, Colombo.
5. Mendis, Willie (March 1999), Synergy of Seaports and Coastal City Development For It’s Sustainability in Emerging
Economies, Keynote Address at 1 st Plenary Session of 5 th International Conference on Coastal & Port Engineering in
Developing Countries, Cape Town, South Africa.
6. Mendis, Willie (March/August 2002), Indo – Lanka Development Corridor : Conceptual Issues, in Built Environment Sri
Lanka, Vol 03, Issue 01, Internationally Refereed Research Publication of the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects,
7. Sri Lanka, Board of Investment, (June 2002), Land Bridge Between Sri Lanka & India : Concept Report, Colombo.
8. Silva, de. (Eng) Dr., (August 2002), Design Concept of the Land Bridge, Paper Presented at the Joint Seminar on the
Sri Lanka – India Land Bridge Organised by The Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka and The Tamil Nadu State Centre
of The Institution of Engineers, India, Colombo.
9. Collection of Papers Presented at the August 2002 Joint Seminar on the Sri Lanka – India Land Bridge, Colombo.
10. NASA Shuttle Digital Image Collection of the `Mysterious ancient bridge between India & Sri Lanka’, September 2002.
Asian Highway/Rail Network:
1. www.unescap.org/tctd/ah/history.htm, History : Chronology of Asian Highway Events.
2. www.unescap.org/tctd/tar/history.htm, Main Events in the History of the Trans Asian Railway
3. UN-ESCAP Report ST/ESCAP/1749, (1997), Evaluation Report on the Transport and Communications Decade : New
Delhi Declaration on Infrastructure Development in Asia & the Pacific (Oct. 1996) and New Delhi Action Plan (1997-
2006), New York.
4. www.unescap.org/tctd/seoul2001/seouldeclaration.htm, Seoul Declaration on Infrastructure Development in Asia &
the Pacific (Nov. 2001).
1. www.saudinf.com/main/g13.htm, for Bahrain Causeway.
2. www.dhi.dk/news/news20011206.htm, for Bahrain – Qatar Causeway.
3. www.oeresundedsbron.com, for Øresund Fixed Link
4. Google Search : oresund bridge
5. Bridge linking Hong Kong with the West Bank of the Pearl River Delta, in Daily News of 03 September 2002.
Relevant Articles in Media:
1. Prime Ministers of India & Sri Lanka agree to a Feasibility Study on Building a Bridge Linking the two Nations, in
“Times of India”, Dec 27, 2001.
2. Prime Ministers of India & Singapore discuss the Indo – Lanka Bridge for which Singapore extends supports, in
“Sunday Leader”, Feb 17, 2002.
3. Prime Minister of Sri Lanka & President of India agree on the Construction of the Bridge, in Daily News, June 12,
4. Prime Minister of Sri Lanka hands over Concept Report of Bridge to Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu State, in “ISLAND”,
June 15, 2002.
5. Letter to the Editor proposes the Trans – Wilpattu Railway Line to link with Rail on Bridge, in “ISLAND”, July 18, 2002.
6. Minister Milinda Moragoda discussed The Land Bridge with KC Pant, Deputy Chairman of India’s Planning
Commission, in “Daily News”, August 28, 2002.
7. Letters to the Editor disagreeing with the building of Bridge, in “Sunday Leader” of January 27, 2002, and “ISLAND” of
September 14, 2002.
8. Sethusamudram Canal Project will begin in the year 2003 & will be completed in the year 2006, in “ISLAND” of Nov.
9. In Keynote Address at India Today Conclave in New Delhi, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka refers to the Bridge, in “Daily
News” & “Sunday Observer” of March 1, 2, & 3, 2003.
10. MDMK General Secretary M Vaiko opposes Proposal to build Bridge in favour of Sethusamudram Canal Project, in
“Sunday Leader”, March 9, 2003.
11. Prime Minister & President of India & Prime Minister of Sri Lanka discuss Bridge & Road links from Hambantota to
Mumbai via Bangalore & Chennai in “Sunday Leader”, March 9, 2003.