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Sunday, 19 May 2013

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Houses, infrastructure in full swing in North



Post Office building at Nedunkerny

Providing livelihood, housing and infrastructure to over 300,000 displaced people of the Northern Province remains the main focus of the UPFA Government since the elimination of terrorism four years ago. Democracy has been restored in almost all local government bodies in the province. Elections to the Northern Provincial Council is also round the corner. Over the past four years, a colossal amount of money has been allocated for the implementation of several mega projects for the restoration of democratic governance; for restoration of law and order; to promote socio-economic welfare of resettled families and for the prosperity of the region, which include projects for infrastructure provision, livelihood, housing, health, education and transport.

The funds were allocated by the relevant cabinet ministries and the provincial administration while the projects were being implemented by the relevant implementing agencies. The Northern province is now on the path to its former glory as a region of agriculture, commerce and education. Virtually all have returned to their villages or former places of residence and to their his traditional professions.

In this backdrop, the Sunday Observer looks into the district-wise development activities in all areas based on figures from the provincial administration, the District Development Unit of the Government secretariat and other relevant authorities on the basis of one district every week during the next five weeks.

Major development programs were launched after the elimination of LTTE terrorism. These programs were accelerated after the visit of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the province consequent to the military victory and have made much headway instilling in the minds of the people new hopes for their future, prosperity and welfare. Paddy cultivation is undertaken in an extent of 18,544 Ha and the annual production has reached 83,000 tonnes. All abandoned arable lands have been cleared and utilised for cultivation. The targeted achievement of paddy cultivation by the year 2016 is 129,200 tonnes . This target is projected to be achieved through renovation of a more number of irrigation tanks, increased distribution of quality seed paddy, use of organic fertiliser and more efficient irrigation technology, according to reports of the Vavuniya Secretariat.Focus has been laid on increasing agricultural productivity primarily because it is an agricultural region with fertile soil and irrigation facilities.


Rehabilitation of Iretaperiyakulam - Puttur Road

The cultivation of paddy and Other Field Crop (OFC) have been undertaken in larger areas after clearing abandoned arable lands. Banks and post offices are functioning in the city and its suburbs. Fruit crop cultivation at present is 10,700 tonnes and this is targeted to be increased to 24,000 tonnes by the year 2016. Vegetable cultivation is presently undertaken in a land area of 30 Ha. And this is also projected to be increased many fold by the year 2016.

The other methods for increasing production of OFC will include improved varieties of seed and planting materials and providing the necessary machinery to the farmers. A 'chilli special expansion program' will be implemented to reduce the import of chilli. Seven acres of land in Navi, one acre in Kanagarayankulam and 57 acres in Kallaru have been earmarked for initially introducing the program. The Government Seed Production Farm has enough stocks of mangoes, grafted mangoes, oranges, lime, jak, papaw, drum sticks, and vegetable seedlings. The farm expenditure is Rs. 4.3 Mn, farm income is Rs.5.67 Mn and the stock in hand is worth Rs. 3.00 Mn.

According to reports of the Director of Development for the district, all disconnected, damaged and dilapidated highways and roads, including rural roads, have been renovated and rehabilitated. As on 31.12.2012, a total amount of Rs. 25,349.611 Mn was allocated for various projects. Of this amount Rs. 13,151.837 Mn has already been spent by the relevant project implementing agencies in the implementation process as at end of December 2012.

The remaining work under the projects is continuing. The allocations include allocations from the Ministry of Economic Development under the 'Divineguma', Re-awakening and 'Pura Neguma' road development projects, the Decentralised Capital Budget(DCB), North-East Community Development Projects, NRCP Road projects, Conflict Affected Region Emergency (CARE) road development projects, CARE Irrigation projects, Road Development Authority (RDA) China-funded projects, Dry Zone Urgent Water Supply Projects, Japanese-funded projects, Irrigation (Central and Provincial) projects, Zonal Education Director's projects, CEB 'Vadakkin Vasantham' projects and Government Agent's projects.

As at the end of December 2012, an amount of Rs. 10,827.000 Mn has been allocated for implementing 176 projects. The entire number of projects has been completed and the expenditure has been recorded as Rs. 10,825.000 Mn.

The projects include projects on Electricity, Education, Health, Roads Development, Water Supply, Sports, Religious Activities, Social Welfare, Fisheries and District Administration.Under the Rehabilitation of School Buildings of the Zonal Director of Education, Vavuniya, Rs. 7.000 Mn has been allocated for 14 projects and the entire number of projects has been completed.

Under the 'Re-awakening' projects of the Ministry of Economic Development Rs. 333.392 Mn has been allocated for 130 projects (water supply, buildings, flood damage rehabilitation, road development, irrigation and livelihood capacity building) and 85 projects have already been completed at an expenditure of Rs.133.698.

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