Colombo, August 12 (newsin.asia): The first lot of houses of the 14, 000 being built under the Indian Housing Project for The Plantation Areas was handed over to the beneficiaries by the Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at a ceremony at the Dunsinane Estate in Punduloya, Nuwara Eliya District, on Sunday.
On the same occasion, the Letter of Exchange for construction of additional 10,000 houses in the plantation areas was signed by High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka H.E. Mr. Taranjit Singh Sandhu and Minister for Hill country New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development Hon. Palani Digambaram.
The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had committed to construct these additional houses during his visit to Sri Lanka in 2017. With this agreement the commitment of India for building houses in the plantation areas meant for estate workers has risen to 14000.
In a message sent on the occasion, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the proud owners of the newly built independent houses. Highlighting the uniqueness of the participatory owner-driven approach of the Indian Housing Project where in the beneficiaries actively participate in building the houses, he said that the Indian Housing Project in Sri Lanka with a grant of over US$ 350 million, is the largest Indian grant assistance project in any country abroad.
Modi also pointed out that out of the total commitment of 60,000 houses by India close to 47,000 houses have been built.
Recalling the launch of expansion of the pre-hospital Emergency Ambulance Service all over Sri Lanka last month, commencement of Air India flights from Colombo to Varanasi in August 2017 and signing of agreement for construction of 10,000 houses in the plantation areas on Sunday Prime Minister Modi expressed satisfaction that promises made during his visit to Sri Lanka last year have been kept.
Expressing that Sri Lanka has been and will remain special for India, he reiterated Government and People of India’s commitment to be with the people of Sri Lanka in their journey towards greater peace and prosperity.
The Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wikeremesinghe appreciated India’s commitment to partner with Sri Lanka in development projects including in building houses for in Upcountry areas.
The new houses, given along with the land ownership certificates, were handed over to first slot of beneficiaries by Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wikremesinghe, High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu, Minister for Hill country New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development Palani Digambaram, Minister of Plantation Industries Navin Dissanayake and Minister of Lands and Parliamentary Reforms Gayantha Karunathilake and Minister of City Planning and Water Supply, Rauff Hakeem.
Several Members of Parliament and Central Provincial Council, senior Government officials as well as officials from Plantation Human Development Trust (PHDT), Regional Plantation Companies and a huge number of people from the Dunsinane Estate, close to 1500 attended the ceremony.
(The featured image at the top shows Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesihnghe, cutting a ribbon to open the new houses as Indian High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu and Lankan Minister of City Planning and Water Supply Rauff Hakeem look on)