The phased approach of India’s assistance to Sri Lanka is in line with the needs and requirements of the people of Sri Lanka at any given time, as articulated through the Government of Sri Lanka, the Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Y.K. Sinha said.
Sinha said that India’s assistance has been able to make a difference in the lives of the people in the conflict-affected areas.
He recalled the dispatch of emergency relief assistance in November 2008 in the form of 2,50,000 family packs comprising daily use items such as clothing, utensils, essential food packets, personal hygiene items etc. and setting up of an Emergency Field Hospital at Pulmoddai in March 2009, which was later shifted to Chettikulam, which provided emergency treatment to about 50,000 patients and conducted nearly 3,000 surgical operations.
The High Commissioner further elaborated on India’s assistance in meeting the long-term requirements of rehabilitation, re-settlement and re-construction and emphasized that Indian projects now encompassed virtually all major sectors of the economy, including housing, infrastructure, education, health, agriculture, fisheries, industry, handicrafts, culture and sports.
The High Commissioner noted that the MoU between India and Sri Lanka for small development projects upto SLR 300 million, enabled successful implementation of a number of projects with short gestation periods.
He expressed satisfaction that many projects had been completed on schedule and some, including the railway projects, were ahead of schedule.
Speaking about the flagship Indian Housing project, the High Commissioner informed that the Pilot Project for constructing 1,000 houses in the Northern Province was completed in July 2012 and the second phase of the Housing Project, that involved constructing 43,000 houses in the Northern and Eastern Provinces under an owner-driven approach, was progressing smoothly. Till date India had selected and transferred the first instalment of funds to 13,500 beneficiaries, second instalment to 11,800 beneficiaries, third instalment to 6,000 beneficiaries, and the fourth & final instalment to over 1,000 beneficiaries. (Colombo Gazette)