Skip links

Concerns Arise Over Chinese-Built Infrastructure in Sri Lanka After Central Expressway Section Collapse

The construction quality of Chinese-built infrastructure projects has come under scrutiny following a section collapse of the Central Expressway in Sri Lanka.

The sudden collapse of a 35-meter-long beam has raised concerns about safety, posing a threat to the Kadawatha-Mirigama section and other similar projects constructed by Chinese companies.

An investigation has been launched to determine the cause of the collapse, with authorities discovering two other beams in dangerous condition. The quality of the entire highway section built by the Chinese company Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC) is now under scrutiny.

According to the Sri Lankan Road Development Authority (RDA), the collapse has resulted in a loss of LKR 66 million as the affected pillars cannot be used. If the investigation reveals widespread inferior quality, losses could amount to billions, potentially leading to disputes between Sri Lanka and MCC over responsibility and compensation.

China’s dominance in Sri Lanka’s infrastructure development under the Belt Road Initiative (BRI) has been accompanied by concerns over high construction costs, exacerbated by delays in project completion.

Despite promises of job creation, the reality has seen job losses and economic contraction in Sri Lanka’s construction sector. Reports suggest that many Chinese-funded projects in Sri Lanka suffer from cost overruns and poor quality, further straining the country’s debt burden.

Moreover, the construction of the Central Expressway has caused significant environmental and social disruption, including land acquisition disputes, livelihood losses, and environmental damage.

Communities affected by the project have expressed concerns about the uncertainty of their future, loss of livelihoods, and disruption of local economies.

Amidst these challenges, Sri Lanka faces difficulties in generating revenue for debt repayment, with China remaining non-committal about debt restructuring requests. The situation underscores the need for careful scrutiny and oversight of infrastructure projects to ensure their sustainability and benefits for local communities.

This website uses cookies to improve your web experience.