India has placed focus on people-oriented development cooperation with Sri Lanka.
A special event was held at St. Henry’s College, Ilavalai in Jaffna today during which new school buildings constructed with Indian assistance in five schools in the Northern Province were simultaneously handed over to the people of Sri Lanka.
At the event which coincided with the Thai Pongal festival, the Governor of the Northern Province Mrs. P.S.M. Charles and the Deputy High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Vinod K. Jacob jointly inaugurated the new buildings.
One new school building each in J/Ilavalai St. Henry’s College, J/Katheeja Muslim Mahalir Vidyalaym, J/Valalai AMTMS, J/Varuthalaivilan AMTMS (all in Jaffna) and two buildings in Mu/Visuvanathar Primary School in Vavuniya were handed over.
Senior Government officials, leaders from the region, students and teachers of the schools and local people attended the functions.
These buildings are part of new class room buildings being constructed in 27 schools in the Northern Province at a cost of 250 million Sri Lankan Rupees.
Of these 20 school buildings have been completed and inaugurated including the buildings for five schools handed over today. The remaining 7 school buildings are expected to be completed shortly.
The project is part of India’s continued people-oriented development cooperation with the Government of Sri Lanka, the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka said. India’s overall commitment of development assistance to Sri Lanka stands at a total of around US$ 3.5 billion and among these, US$ 560 million is pure grant assistance.
Out of the total commitment of 63,000 houses, 47,500 houses have already been built. Besides, various projects undertaken for rehabilitation and resettlement, the Government of India has constructed a total of 46000 houses in the region. 1990 Emergency Ambulance Services are operational island wide including the Northern Province. The Government of India has also assisted Faculty of Agriculture and Engineering in Kilinochchi campus of Jaffna University with equipments and skill components worth SLR 600 million.
The ongoing development cooperation projects in the Northern Province under the Government of India’s grant assistance include construction of Cultural Centre in Jaffna, construction of 3000 Rain Water Harvesting units, construction of 25 model villages consisting of 600 houses, establishing a Business/ICT Incubator Center in Jaffna among others.