Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Ashok K. Kantha, at a ceremony in Peliyagoda today handed over the 10,000 cement bags to the Secretary of Ministry of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services U.L.M.Haldeen for the benefit of the resettled civilians in Northern Sri Lanka.
This is the first lot out of the 400,000 cement bags being supplied by the Indian government, a press release issued by the Indian High Commission in Colombo said. The cement bags procured from Ultratech Cement Lanka Pvt. Ltd. will be supplied in lots of 10,000 bags each day for the next 40-45 days.
The bags will be dispatched to various areas in North by Sri Lankan government authorities for distribution among the resettled population in the Northern Province.
Each resettled family is expected to receive 8 cement bags to use for repair and renovation of their houses damaged during the war.
These cement bags, along with an earlier supply of 530,000 Metal Roofing Sheets by India are meant to contribute to reconstruction of dwellings of the resettling IDPs in the new areas of their habitation, the High Commission said.
The total cost of the cement consignment at 200 million rupees (US$ 1.75 million) is financed from the 12.5 billion rupees grant assistance announced by Government of India for reconstruction activities in Sri Lanka in May 2009.
The High Commissioner speaking on the occasion said the Indian contribution of cement bags and roofing sheets was based on the priorities and requirements projected by the Sri Lankan government.
Kantha expressing hope that the supplies would assist the resettling IDPs in rebuilding their lives said India is actively working on rehabilitation assistance directed at restoring the social, cultural, and economic infrastructure in the Northern Province.
The assistance includes a proposal for reconstruction and restoration of the damaged houses, hospitals, and schools for the re-settling IDPs as well as reconstruction of the railway infrastructure for which the Government of India has already announced a line of credit of US$ 425 million.
The High Commissioner added that India and Sri Lanka enjoy extremely close and cordial relationship and Indian contribution to the rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in Northern Sri Lanka was a manifestation of the excellent and friendly relations between the two countries.