Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 15 January 2012





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

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 concept.

Pottuvil-Panama road

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 economy.

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) sources.

A woman working at her home garden
Home garden harvest at sale

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 development”.

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.


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