Infrastructure development in N-E to boost regional economy
The Government has implemented major development projects in the
North and East to improve infrastructure facilities with a view to
uplift regional economy and living standards of the people under the
Uthuru Wasanthaya and Nagenahira Navodhaya accelerated development
program implemented under the Mahinda Chinthana national development
Constructing a bridge over Kinniya lagoon and the Verugal river is a
turning point in the economy of Batticaloa and Trincomalee districts. It
has reduced the travel distance, cost and other inconveniences arising
owing to the use of the Batticaloa-Habarana route.
After the opening of the road, several roadside boutiques have come
up along the A-15 road. It has paved the way to strengthen regional
Road development has paved the way for the emergence of new business
institutions and other industries in the Eastern province. The North and
East which prevailed as the ghost city before the elimination of LTTE is
now turning into a rapidly developing region.
Most of the projects were commissioned last year. A bridge over
Verugal river was a long time need of the people in the Trincomalee and
Batticaloa districts. The Government fulfilled the need of this
community by constructing the Verugal bridge. Transportation between the
region is now taking place smoothly.
Five bridges were constructed along the A-15 road. The development
and opening of the A-15 road helped to improve the economy of certain
parts of the region due to lack of proper transport facilities.
The Government has focused attention on infrastructure development,
electricity, water supply and sanitation, agriculture, irrigation,
livestock development, inland fisheries, health, solid waste management,
education, sports, cultural affairs and transport.
The Kinniya and Irakkandi bridges were constructed under the
“Nagenahira Navodhaya” Eastern development drive.
Meanwhile, the National Library and Documentation Services Board
(NDSB) is conducting a preliminary study of libraries in the North and
East. The information relating to these libraries are being collected by
Local Government Commissioners and Provincial Education Directors.
The Government also allocated sufficient funds to implement various
development projects in the North and East.
The Government will implement the Jaffna-Kilinochchi water supply and
sanitation project soon. The estimated cost for the project is Rs.
17,880 million (US $ 164.4 million). The Asian Development Bank has
agreed to provide US $ 90 million for this project.
This project will be implemented under the “Uthuru Wasanthaya”
Northern development drive with a view to provide safe drinking water to
the people in the Jaffna and Kilinochchi districts.Accordingly US$ 92.55
million will be spent for water supply, US$ 35.64 million for sewerage
and sanitation facilities and US$ 10.63 million to improve the Iranamadu
reservoir, according to National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB)
|A woman working at her
|Home garden harvest at
An officer attached to NWSDB said that a sum of US$ 2.64 million will
be spent for Jaffna water resource management, US$ 5.58 million for
capacity building, US$ 11.67 million for contingencies and US$ 5.33
million for financing charges will be spent.
The Government is committed to look into the well-being of the
resettled people in the North.
There are one Municipal council, 3 Urban Councils and 13 Pradeshiya
Sabas in the Jaffna district and four Pradeshiya Sabas in the
Kilinochchi. The Jaffna district accounts to the population of 650,720
and Kilinochchi 140,145.
The Government targets to provide safe drinking water to 85 percent
of the population by 2015 and to complete the remaining 15 percent
before 2025. The target of provision of sanitation facilities is 87
percent by 2015 and to complete it by 2025, according to NWSDB sources.
Meanwhile Local Government and Provincial Council Minister A.L.M.
Athaullah said that the Government has prepared a development oriented
budget this year. The North and East will enjoy special benefits through
the budget 2012. President Mahinda Rajapaksa who eliminated the LTTE has
laid a strong foundation for the sustainable development.
Those days no attention was focused on development except poverty
elimination when the budget was prepared. Now the time is ripe to
utilise more and more funds for development, according to Minister
Athaullah. Sufficient funds have been allocated for infrastructure
development as well as livelihood development through the budget 2012,
the Minister said.
When a Budget was submitted in the Parliament commodity price, tax
and the salary increment were the main focus of the people. They were
negligent to think of development.
The Minister said “We have seen the budgets which was prepared to
satisfy a small faction and to get the votes of the people. In fact they
were not development oriented. We had a doubt that whether the Budget
was prepared to increase the country’s production and or to expedite
The Budget has highlighted contemporary needs of the country. Now
there is an atmosphere to produce our necessities ourselves and the
additional production can be exported. This situation did not prevail in
the past. If all facilities are available the people will not clamour
for a salary increment.
Increased cost of living makes the people to clamour for salary
increment, the Minister said.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Minister of Finance has prepared
this Budget realising the heartbeat of the people. Prices of commodities
have been stabilised through the Budget.
The Government has implemented a home garden project to improve the
domestic economy. Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa is
playing a key role in implementing this project.
Local Governmental bodies must be strengthened to arrive at rural
development. Various rural infrastructure development projects have been
implemented in the North and East utilising the local and foreign funds.
The Agriculture sector has improved. Vegetable production has
increased. The Government overcame the shortage prevailed for eggs and
coconut, the Minister added.