The High Commissioner of India, Y. K. Sinha, and P. Thigambaram, Minister of Hill Country New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development jointly laid the foundation stone for the third phase of the Indian Housing Project at the Dunsinane estate today in the presence of Mano Ganesan, Minister of National Co-existence, Dialogue and Official Languages and V.S. Radhakrishnan, State Minister of Education.
As part of Government of India’s commitment to construct 50,000 houses in Sri Lanka, 4000 houses will be constructed in the Central and Uva Provinces as the third and final phase of the project.
The houses in the estates will be constructed through the Estate Workers Housing Cooperative Societies (EWHCS), who in consultation with the beneficiaries will facilitate construction.
The services of four Implementing Agencies (UN-Habitat, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Habitat for Humanity and National Housing Development Authority) who have been providing necessary technical assistance and support under the second phase involving construction of 45,000 houses in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, will be utilised for the Project.
The High Commission of India said it would release payment of a total of SLR 950,000 per house in four tranches, linked to the physical progress, directly to the special bank account operated by the EWHCS. The beneficiaries will be selected through a transparent and norm-based process on the basis of clearly defined and objective criteria.
The High Commission said that the Government of Sri Lanka has earmarked an area of 7 perches per family for 1134 houses and hence only 1134 houses will be taken up for construction initially. The Government of India will commence construction of the remaining 2866 houses as soon as land is made available.
The project will be implemented in close consultation with the Ministry of Hill Country New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development and Plantation Human Development Trust. (Colombo Gazette)