2nd phase of Indian housing project in Lanka from Oct 2

PTI Colombo | Updated on October 01, 2012 Published on October 01, 2012

An ambitious Rs 1300 crore Indian project to build 43,000 houses for ethnic Tamils displaced by the decades-old conflict in Sri Lanka would get underway tomorrow in the country’s north.

The project, which is the second phase of the housing scheme, will be launched on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti in Mannar in the northern tip of Sri Lanka by Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa and Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Ashok K Kantha.

This is part of India’s commitment to build 50,000 houses for war-displaced Tamils announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s visit to India in June, 2010.

India has already handed over 1,000 houses to such people in northern region as part of its pilot project which was completed in July this year.

As part of the project to be launched tomorrow, 1,500 beneficiaries from across the northern region, once a stronghold of now defunct LTTE, have been identified for the housing project and will be provided money by the Indian High Commission to build houses themselves.

“It is a very ambitious project. Based on recommendation from the Sri Lankan Government, we selected the owner-driven model to construct these houses.The money will be released to beneficiaries in three to four phases directly to their bank accounts,” Kantha told visiting Indian journalists here today.

He said the beneficiaries for this project have been chosen in a “completely transparent” manner based on certain criteria laid out by the Indian High Commission.

The beneficiaries would get 5.5 lakh SLR each to build houses and the money would be released in four instalments by the Indian High Commission after they had fulfilled certain criteria like completion of the first phase of the construction.

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Published on October 01, 2012
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