The newly constructed 'Puradora Sewana' Housing Scheme in Orugodawatte, Colombo was declared open by the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday (Sep. 15).
Mr. Rajapaksa after unveiling a commemorative plaque, declared open the new urban housing scheme. The complex of four, two storied housing blocks comprise of 34 houses. Houses were handed over to selected low income families who lived under deplorable conditions in urban squatters. These houses, facing the Base Line road are comprised of all amenities including proper sanitary facilities.
Addressing the beneficiaries, Mr. Rajapaksa mentioned that, "over 5000 such housing units have been completed out of 20000 units that are being constructed". Amongst them a large number of housing units have been vested on low income squatters during the year", he said.
He further stated that, "at the outset, opposition made an attempt to disrupt the project, criticizing that Government's intention is to drive out these shanty dwellers from Colombo to countryside". "But, in accordance with the 'Mahinda Chintana Policy Manifesto', Government's intention was to relocate shanty dwellers within the Colombo District itself in to a much better environment bringing immense benefits to them", he recalled.
Further elaborating on easy payment arrangements, he went on to say that, "not even 10% of the cost of a house would be recovered even in a span of 20 years’ time". "Furthermore, financial aids have also been granted for those who had with financial constraints". "Meanwhile, in some cases philanthropists too extended their supportive hands willingly", he added.
Speaking on the visionary aim of slums and shanties free Colombo, he said that, far-sighted footstep strengthening squatter families would even compels them to pursue rather better living condition in future. Finally, all this esteemed initiatives ushers the prospects of future generation of the country, he emphasized.