India to build 43,000 houses for IDPs

India is to build 43,000 houses for Sri Lanka’s war displaced communities in the north and east of the country, the Indian High Commission in Colombo said.

Contracts to build the houses have been awarded to the respective agencies and the project will be implemented immediately.

The Indian High Commission said that the construction of 43,000 houses for resettlement and rehabilitation of war displaced in the north and east is part of the overall commitment by India to build 50,000 houses in Sri Lanka for the war affected communities.

The beneficiaries of the 43,000 houses will be selected through a transparent and norm-based process on the basis of clearly defined and objective criteria.

In order to ensure early operationalisation of this commitment, a pilot phase for the construction of 1,000 houses in the five districts of Northern Province was launched in November 2010 of which 950 houses have already been completed.

In the last phase of the project, which is also expected to commence soon, about 6,000 houses will be directly built by construction agencies for people from most vulnerable sections of the war displaced in the northern and eastern provinces and for the estate sector in the Central and Uva Provinces, the High Commission said.

The entire Project is under full grant assistance of the government of India with a total outlay of approximately 270 million U.S. dollars.

Thousands of Tamils were displaced during the last stages of the war in Sri Lanka which ended with the defeat of the Tamil Tiger rebels after 30 years of fighting.

Strong sentiments expressed in India, particularly in the southern Tamil Nadu area, towards the Tamils in Sri Lanka saw the Indian government coming forward to help the war displaced. (Xinhua)