India's developmental assistance projects in Sri Lanka based on the priorities set by the Sri Lankan government and the people have made impressive progress, the Indian High Commissioner in Colombo, Ashok K. Kantha said.
The High Commissioner in an Independence Day message said that India-Sri Lanka relations were growing rapidly and that the partnership between the closest of neighbours and friends must progress.
Among the many development projects India funded, the most notable was the US$ 270 million Indian housing project for displaced Tamils to build 50,000 housing units in the North, East and plantations, the High Commissioner said.
"Given its scale and reach, the Housing Project is the flagship project of India's development assistance to Sri Lanka and one of the largest grant assistance projects undertaken by the Government of India in any part of the world," he said in his message.
He noted that the pilot phase of the project for construction of 1000 houses has been completed and the two governments have signed the agreements last month for the next phase of constructing 43,000 housing units under the owner-driven mode in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. The work has been awarded to four Implementing Agencies, he added.
Under the Small Development Project scheme, a number of projects in diverse such as health, education, agriculture, fishing, small and medium enterprises development, community empowerment, art, craft and culture have been successfully completed and many more included to India's growing project portfolio in all parts of Sri Lanka, the High Commissioner said .
He noted with satisfaction the completion of the railway reconstruction project in the South ahead of schedule and handing over to Sri Lanka Railways during the visit of the Indian Parliamentary delegation in April 2012.
The High Commissioner said the Railway reconstruction project in North, under Indian lines of credit, is also progressing smoothly and is expected to be completed by December 2013, well ahead of schedule.
India has completed the wreck removal work at the Kankasanthurai Harbour in a timely manner in January and has reached an understanding for the dredging operations, which are expected to be completed by the end of the year.
The Joint Venture Agreement for the 500 MW Sampur coal power plant has been signed and the remaining agreements are being concluded soon, so that work can start on the project and its first power-generation unit be commissioned by end-2016, the High Commissioner said in his message.