Written by Keshala Dias
25 Oct, 2016 | 6:41 am
The twelfth village built under the Samata Sevana Housing programme, was declared open by President Maithripala Sirisena on Monday, October 24.
The new model village in Dimbulagala, Polonnaruwa, was conceptualised by Housing and Construction Minister Sajith Premadasa.
The village, which comprises of 25 homes, has been named after the late Venerable Dimbulagala Siri Seelalankara Thera.
The President also symbolically presented deeds to the beneficiaries of the housing programme, while spectacles and dry rations were also distributed parallel to the event. Housing assistance was presented to low income families, while housing assistance amounting to 500,000 each was presented to the families of 53 kidney patients.
President Sirisena said, the Pibidemu Polonnaruwa initiative which we commenced last year, is a giant project that will fulfill most of the development shortcomings in the district and that roads are being built in the district shortcomings at close to 240 schools are being addressed while rural hospitals are undergoing complete renovation and new buildings are being constructed.
“At the same time, the drinking water crisis is also being addressed and by 2018 this problem will be resolved”, The President said, a foreign project provided by the Chinese government has been in operation since January.
He went on to note that as a new government, they will give the necessary priority for the development across the country just as in Polonnaruwa and that they have commenced such giant development projects.
“I believe that uplifting the living standards of the rural populace and small and medium scale projects for the rural populace are more suitable for our country than giant investments”, he added.
Minister of Housing and Construction Sajith Premadasa said, within three months of the general election they have commenced work on 38 Udagammana villages.
He went on to note, in 2016 work commenced on 148 new Udagammana villages and the work is drawing to a close.
“Your Excellency, I am ashamed to say that the Housing Ministry did not have statistics on the housing needs of the people”, he said, “there was no clear data. 2.4 million families were affected by the housing issue. There are only 5.1 million families in the country. Fifty percent have serious housing problems”.
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