India will increase its assistance to Sri Lanka, particularly in the central tea growing region where majority of Tamils of Indian origin are concentrated. This was announced by the Indian High Commission in Colombo.
During a two-day visit to the central region, Indian High Commissioner Ashok A Kanatha said New Delhi will help build houses, improve medical facilities, infrastructure and transportation in the region. He noted that India was also increasing scholarships awarded to children of plantation workers. Under a four-fold initiative, the Indian Government will first construct 5,000 new housing units for estate workers as part of the larger commitment for construction of 50,000 houses
Mr. Kantha said plans are afoot to construct a 150-bed hospital in Dickoya within the next few weeks to improve the medical infrastructure in the area. The Indian government also plans to substantially increase the number of scholarships for children of estate workers and revamp a Vocational Training Centre in Nuwara Eliya. The High Commission statement said that Mr. Kantha handed over 20 buses to social, cultural and educational institutes in the region as part of project that aims to supply 55 buses.