At a special ceremony held on Sunday morning, estate workers braved the rains to attend this historic occasion where over 400 beneficiaries received their title ownerships.Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address on the occasion highlighted the uniqueness of the participatory owner-driven approach of the Indian Housing Project where the beneficiaries actively participate in building the houses.
The Indian Premier underscored that the Indian Housing Project in Sri Lanka with a grant of over US$ 350 million, was the largest Indian grant assistance project in any country abroad. Prime Minister Modi also recalled that out of the total commitment of 60,000 houses by India, close to 47,000 houses have been built.
Prime Minister Modi recalling the launch of expansion of the pre-hospital Emergency Ambulance Service throughout Sri Lanka last month, commencement of Air India flights from Colombo to Varanasi in August 2017 and the signing of agreement for construction of 10,000 houses in the plantation areas yesterday, 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, the Indian Prime Minister reiterated Government and People of India’s commitment to be with the people of Sri Lanka in their journey towards greater peace and prosperity.Prime Minister Ranil Wickeremesinghe appreciated India’s commitment to partner with Sri Lanka in development projects including in building houses for in Upcountry areas.
On the same occasion, the Letter of Exchange for construction of an additional 10,000 houses in the plantation areas was signed by High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu and Hill Country, New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development Minister Palani Digambaram.It may be recalled that 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 14,000.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu, Hill Country, New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development Minister Palani Digambaram, Plantation Industries Minister Navin Dissanayake and Lands and Parliamentary Reforms Minister Gayantha Karunathilake were also present.
Several Members of Parliament, Central Provincial Council members, senior Government officials, Plantation Human Development Trust (PHDT), Regional Plantation Company officials and a large number of people from Dunsinane Estate, including the beneficiaries and their families attended the function.