Colombo, March 13: The High Commissioner of India Gopal Baglay and the Sri Lankan Minister of Water Supply and Estate Infrastructure Development, Jeevan Thondaman exchanged diplomatic notes, paving way for a three-fold increase in the unit cost of a house under Phase-3 of the Indian Housing Project (IHP).
This step would now enable expeditious completion of Phase-3 of IHP, under which 4000 houses are being constructed through grant assistance of the Government of India (GOI) in plantation areas of Sri Lanka, spread across 7 Districts in Central, Uva and Southern Provinces.
Close to 46,000 houses were built in different parts of Sri Lanka under the first two phases of IHP. The next phase for the construction of 10,000 houses in plantation areas, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, shall commence soon.
The exchange of diplomatic notes takes place at an important juncture when the Indian-Origin Tamil (IOT) community which is concentrated in the plantation areas marks 200 years of its arrival in Sri Lanka.
This also coincides with 100 years of the establishment of the Assistant High Commission of India in Kandy, which has been instrumental in implementing several people-centric grant schemes by the GOI for the IOT community cutting across areas such as education, health, vocational training, livelihood development and several others, in addition to housing.
These milestones shall be commemorated by the Governments of India and Sri Lanka through several joint initiatives along with the establishment of 75 years of diplomatic relations between the two neighbors.