By Chris Kamalendran
A 20,000-strong Indian workforce will arrive in Sri Lanka to carry out mega housing projects in northern districts.
The first phase of the scheme, the construction of a pilot project to build 1,000 houses in Jaffna, will get underway in October this year. Similar pilot projects will be launched thereafter in the districts of Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Mannar and Vavuniya.
The Indian-gifted mega housing project to build 50,000 houses for Internally Displaced People (IDPs) will be managed solely by a Mumbai-based company. It will be under the supervision of the Government of India. The Sri Lanka government is expected to only allocate the land and identify the beneficiaries.
An Indian High Commission official said yesterday that three officials from the construction company met Jaffna ’s District Secretary Emelda Sugumar on Friday to discuss the modalities of the project.
The project was based on agreements reached during President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s official visit to India in June.
Under the project 12,500 houses will be built in the Kilinochchi District, a similar number in the Mullaitivu district, 10,000 houses in Vavuniya and 15,000 in Jaffna and Mannar.
To facilitate the Indian construction project an Indian Bank will be opened next week in Jaffna. Already Indian workers have been deployed for railway expansion projects in the north and the south while for the proposed coal power project in Sampur, Trincomalee also India will be sending its own labour force. - courtesy: The Sunday Times -