Sri Lanka now has the longest bus stand. President Rajapaksa declared open this ultra modern two storied Bus Stand today. Vesting it in the public, the President commented that the bus stand built in the midst of the Galle City, the capital of the South, was the most beautiful and the longest in the country. The President said they had to go forward. The future too had to be given due priority, when considering the country. Various problems surfaced in the process of uniting the country. The global community will also make various statements. But he emphasized that everyone should first give priority to their motherland and not to any other country. The country should be safeguarded and the dividends of freedom gained should be passed on to the posterity. This was what should exactly be done. Therefore they should be geared in this respect. The President said that the people placed trust in the Government and elected them to power. It is now their obligation to fulfill their needs and aspirations. In doing so, he noted that party, cast, religious or other differences cannot be considered. This is one country and one community. He called on everyone to join hands and develop the country. The President stressed that criticisms were necessary. But it should be constructive. He added that criticism made with hatred and anger does not contribute to the betterment of the country but destroys it. The bus stand which was built by Albert Silva who entered Parliament from the Galle District a few decades ago was lost due to the tsunami which lashed the country on 26th December 2004. Not only this bus stand but the entire Galle City was transformed into debris by the giant deadly waves. From then onwards, hundreds of thousands of commuters frequenting Galle had a temporary bus stand. It was the current Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa who laid the foundation stone for a new bus stand on 3rd October last year, taking into consideration the needs of the public.
The task discharged by the Government to vest the bus stand as soon as possible in the public was great. Construction work on the project was frequently monitored by peoples’ representatives. The President personally inquired into the work on the scheme. Minister Basil Rajapaksa also frequently monitored the progress of the work. The expenditure incurred by the Economic Development Ministry on this project was 405 million rupees. Construction work on the bus stand was completed within a short span of nine months safeguarding the pride of the Galle heritage. The bus stand is 161 meters long. Its width is 10 meters. It also has a commuter flyover. A colourful overhead Bridge has been built across the Holland Canal from the Main Railway Station adds colour to the new bus stand. It also has trade stalls, a canteen, Automated Teller Machines, a resting lounge for the disabled and sanitary facilities. Another highlight is the construction of a roof top to protect from a sudden disaster situation. Many Parliamentarians were present at the opening of the bus stand which can accommodate about 700 buses at a time.
A group including Minister Basil Rajapaksa joined in the journey of the first bus which left the Stand. It was driven by Parliamentarian Nishantha Muthuhettigama.