Second phase of Indian housing project gets underway

The second phase of the Indian Housing Project for construction and repair of 43,000 Housing Units in Northern and Eastern Provinces was launched on the ground today jointly by Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa and Ashok K. Kantha, High Commissioner of India at Periyamadhu, Mallavi and Eluthumadduval in Mannar, Mullaithivu and Jaffna districts respectively, the Indian High Commission said in a statement.

In his remarks at the events, Minister Basil Rajapaksa expressed his deep appreciation for the assistance provided by the Government of India towards rehabilitation and resettlement of IDPs and for reconstruction and development of Northern Province.

He highlighted how the Housing Project was indicative of the phased, timely and sequenced manner of India’s development assistance to Sri Lanka which has been based on requirements on the ground.

Minister Rajapaksa also pointed out that among donor-funded humanitarian assistance projects in Sri Lanka, the Indian Housing Project was unmatched and unprecedented in its scale, reach and impact.

The Indian High Commissioner meanwhile said that the launch of the second phase was a special occasion because today is also the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and it was far more meaningful to celebrate it by launching the second phase of the Indian Housing Project which will touch the lives of thousands of people in Sri Lanka. High Commissioner emphasised that the pilot phase of construction of 1,000 houses was completed successfully in July this year.

High Commissioner Kantha said that approximately 1,500 beneficiaries have been selected to receive assistance under this Project in the first lot and that funds have already transferred for the first installment of LKR 100,000 into the bank accounts of beneficiaries and construction work on the ground would begin soon.

He added that in consultation with the Governement of Sri Lanka and the Implementing Agencies, the target of constructing 9,000 houses by August 2013 has been increased to 10,000 houses. High Commissioner also assured that the target of completion of all the 50,000 houses to be constructed under Indian assistance would be completed within three years. (Colombo Gazette)