Lanka suspends import of Indian locomotives

Transport Minister Kumara Welgama has said he ordered the suspension of the imports after one of the trains developed snags and was delayed by over two hours during one of the first runs from the country's south to the capital.

"We have already initiated an investigation into the suitability of these Indian locomotives. We cannot waste public funds for spurious imports," the minister was quoted as saying in the privately-run Daily Mirror online edition.

There was no immediate comment from Indian diplomats in Colombo, but the minister was quoted as saying that he would not hesitate to terminate the deal if local investigators suggested that the trains were unsuitable.

Sri Lanka has contracted to buy the locomotive under a USD 167 million credit line from New Delhi.

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