The Government will take prompt measures to supply water to the Northern Province from the Mahaweli in the South, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said.
The President said a mega scale water supply project has already been planned and finalised. “Hence, the project will be implemented in the near future to satisfy a long felt need of the people in the Northern Province, he said.
The project will irrigate the province while assisting to supply pure drinking water to the province,” the President said addressing the District Development Progress Review Meeting of the Northern Province in Jaffna yesterday (Oct. 13).
President Rajapaksa ordered politicians to place the country first, so as to enable the maximum benefits to country and people, and not pursue petty political agendas. He pointed out that politicians should not further their petty political agendas when serving the people of the area.
“They should not engage in politics with a view to obtaining votes. All politicians are duty bound to protect the laws of the land. They are doubly responsible for protecting and safeguarding the laws of the country and its policies. Those policies should not be compromised or amended for petty political gain,” the President said.
The meeting commenced with the welcome speech by Minister Douglas Devananda. He was followed by Jaffna District Secretary Sundaram Arunainayagam, who presented the Jaffna District progress report.
According to the report, the Government has invested Rs.89, 021.2 million in seven key sectors from 2009. Rs.2,464 million was reserved for agriculture, Rs.3,111 million for industries, tourism and trade, Rs.18,179 million for human settlement, Rs.6,225 million for economic infrastructure, Rs.48,055 million for transport, Rs.8,663 million for social infrastructure and Rs.2,320 for administrative activities.
He said with the allocations made by the Central Government and as the result of the peaceful atmosphere, all sectors of the district have been rapidly progressing.
The President also revealed that the income of a main household in Jaffna has reached Rs.34,788 per month up from Rs.20,048 in 2005.
The District Secretary said a significant amount of money has been invested in Divi Neguma and Gama Neguma projects, which are being carried out by the Economic Development Ministry.
“As a whole, the entire district has been subjected to rapid development in every sector during a short period. All those sectors have shown a significant and gradual growth from 2009. Of these, the progress achieved in the livestock sector has been significant.”
The President advised Provincial Education authorities to take measures to end the teacher shortage in rural schools by implementing a proper teacher transfer and recruitment procedure.
“By carrying out such a system, the teacher shortage affecting mostly the rural and underprivileged schools can be sorted out,” he added.
The President pointed out that to discover solutions to the teacher shortage; a school based teacher recruitment method was introduced recently.
Under this system, teachers are recruited to a school only when there is a vacancy. The particular teacher should report only to the nominated school. If not, the salary of that particular teacher will be stopped.
President Rajapaksa asked officials to take measures to protect the environment.
Several politicians and civilians highlighted and appreciated the resumption of Yal Devi after a lapse of 24 years. The President said the Government takes every possible effort for the people and the country without considering the political background of anyone.
The President ordered Road Development Authority officials to take immediate measures to mend the dangerous bends on the A9 road.
He said he noticed that the A9 road was dark in several places at night since street lights have not been installed by the provincial authorities.
President Rajapaksa asked the Power and Energy Minister to take steps to provide street lights along the road since the provincial authorities are reluctant to serve the people.
The President observed that it is far better to pay attention to the quality and the completion of development activities rather than seeking publicity from these development activities.
He said public servants are duty bound to take prompt action to resolve issues in their fields.
“They must not allow things to drag on so that the subject will surface over and over again. Government officials are entrusted with the responsibility to assist the public in obtaining redress for their problems while performing an exemplary role in the service of the state.”
President Rajapaksa instructed officials to take measures to solve problems in all five districts in the Northern Province. These measures will be implemented in line with the public needs in those districts.
The President focused his attention towards the burning problems in the provinces such as teacher shortage, scarcity of drinking water, issues relating to farming, fishing, animal husbandry, health needs etc.
President Rajapaksa instructed officials to take immediate action to find solutions to the drinking water problem in these districts.