Colombo: India has said that it is actively
contributing to the rehabilitation process and restoration of
infrastructure in the war-ravaged northern Sri Lanka as part
of the "extremely close" relationship between the two sides.
New Delhi`s contribution is based on priorities and
requirements projected by the Sri Lankan side, Indian High
Commissioner Ashok K Kantha said at a ceremony here to hand
over cement consignments for the repair and renovation of
houses in the North.
He said that as the reconstruction effort moved to the
next stage, the government of India was actively providing
Kantha yesterday handed over to U L M Haldeen, Secretary
in the Sri Lankan Ministry of Resettlement and Disaster Relief
Services, the first lot of 10,000 cement bags out of the
400,000 being supplied by the government of India. They will
be supplied in lots each day for the next 40-45 days.
The cement bags will be dispatched to various areas in
North by authorities for distribution among the resettled
Each resettled family is expected to receive eight cement
bags, which will be used for repair and renovation of their
houses damaged during years of armed conflict in Sri Lanka.
These cement bags, along with an earlier supply of
530,000 Metal Roofing Sheets by India, are meant to contribute
to reconstruction of dwellings for Internally Displaced
Persons (IDPs) in the new areas of their habitation.
The total cost of the supplies of 400,000 cement bags is
Sri Lankan Rs 200 million (USD 1.75 million), which is part of
the SL RS 12.5 billion grant announced in May 2009 by the
Government of India for reconstruction activities.
The Indian High Commissioner also expressed the hope that
the supplies would help the IDPs in rebuilding their lives.
Kantha said as the reconstruction effort was moving to
the next stage, New Delhi was actively working on
rehabilitation assistance directed at restoring the social,
cultural and economic infrastructure in the northern Province.
This included a proposal for reconstruction and
restoration of the damaged houses, hospitals and schools for
the resettling the IDPs.
Besides, India has announced a Line of Credit of USD 425
million for reconstruction of the railway infrastructure
linking northern tracks.
The High Commissioner said India and Sri Lanka enjoyed
"extremely close and cordial relationship" and Indian
contribution to the rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts
in northern region was a manifestation of this relationship.