The second phase of the Indian Housing Project, which is being jointly implemented by the governments of India and Sri Lanka, for the construction of 43,000 housing units in Northern and Eastern Provinces, has made rapid progress since its launch on 2nd October 2012.
A statement released by the High Commission of India in Colombo said the Project, which is slated to build 50,000 houses in Sri Lanka for the resettled Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), is progressing ahead of schedule and has exceeded the targets set for the Year-I of Phase 2.
A Project Steering Committee (PSC) for the Project, co-chaired by Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa, and High Commissioner Ashok K Kantha has met on April 04 to review the progress of implementation of the Indian Housing Project.
The PSC has noted the progress made in terms of selection of beneficiaries and release of funds during Year-I of Phase 2 of the Housing Project. The target fixed for 31 March 2013 to release first installment payments to 10,000 beneficiaries, had been exceeded.
The Co-Chairs have noted that, as of 31 March 2013, first installment payments had been transferred to 11,379 beneficiaries, second installment payments to 3,448 beneficiaries, third installment to 741 beneficiaries and fourth installment to 18 beneficiaries.
These work out to a total of 15,643 transactions, involving transfer of Rs. 2.28 billion, since the launch of the Project on 2 October 2012, coinciding with the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
The PSC has set a goal to make every effort to encourage at least 10,000 beneficiaries to complete their houses in Year-I and agreed to fix a target of selection and release of funds to 15,000 new beneficiaries during Year II of the Project.
It was agreed that IAs would work with the concerned Government functionaries of all the five districts of the Northern Province to address the issue of any scarcity of material or labor, which could affect the implementation of the Project, as it gathered greater pace.
Based on the progress made in the Northern Province, the PSC has decided to launch the Project in the Eastern Province in May 2013 giving priority to the highly-affected areas in the Province, on the basis of a needs assessment indicating the number of resettled families.
The meeting was also attended by the officials of the Ministry of Economic Development, Presidential Task Force (PTF) and the High Commission of India.