The B.D Rampala Memorial Lecture marking the 105th birth anniversary of Late Engineer Bamunusinghearachchige Don Rampala popularly called B.D.Rampala was held on Friday, 13th November, 2015 at the Wimalasurendra Auditorium of the IESL. Eng. (Dr). Tilak Siyambalapitiya , Energy Consultant and former President of the Energy Manager’s Association, delivered the lecture on the theme ‘Electrified Railways: soon to be a Reality’ the synopsis of which follows.
Synopsis: The Government has finally decided on the electrification and modernization of suburban railways, to serve the growing demand for efficient transportation. The Veyangoda-Panadura sector in the Western Province would be the first sector to be electrified, to operate a dedicated, fast, frequent, comfortable suburban service. The support of international financing agencies has been pledged already. The project is set to serve over half a million passengers per day from year 2020. Reforms in the way Sri Lankans build, manage and use the railway network would be essential to reap the benefits of this mode of transport, widely used for urban and long distance transportation worldwide.
The IESL piously commemorates the birth anniversaries of engineering greats the country has produced whose names are etched in its rich engineering history. One such individual is B. D. Rampala who became the first native chief mechanical engineer in 1949, of the then Ceylon Government Railways and went on to become the General Manager during the period 1955 - 1970, in what is now Sri Lanka Railways. The improvements he brought about to the country’s railway are enjoyed by the people to this day.
The Memorial Lecture was organized by the Mechanical Engineering Sectional Committee for the 2015 / 2016 session of the IESL under the chairmanship of Eng. Arjuna Manamperi. The lecture was preceded by the lighting of the traditional oil lamp and the customary garlanding of the portrait of the Late Engineer B.D.Rampala by the President of IESL, Eng. Wimalasena Gamage. The lecture was richly attended with Past Presidents, Council Members, members of the IESL and family members of the late engineer attending.