July 02, Colombo: Sri Lanka Army troops, now engaged in restoration of damaged properties in the violence-hit southern coastal towns of Aluthgama and Beruwala since Friday (27), expect to complete the phase of the reconstruction project within few weeks.
The troops are operating at five sub-sector levels after targeting restoration of three damaged buildings from each sub-sector under the first phase.
Security Force Headquarters, West (SFHQ-West) of the Sri Lanka Army has been assigned to rebuild and renovate all damaged properties in the two towns.
Major General U.A.B Medawela, Commander of SFHQ-West, who is overseeing the restoration work, said areas of Ambagashandiya Military Road, Adikarigoda, Pathirajagoda, Seeniwatta, Pinnawatta, Ambepitiya, Dharga Town and a few other surrounding areas have been prioritized under the phase one and the troops expect to complete the project at least within a matter of few weeks.
According to Medawela many groups of Sinhalese and Muslim social workers have enthusiastically extended their support to the troops.
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who visited the violence-stricken towns immediately after he returned from a tour in Bolivia on June 18, instructed the Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Army Commander Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake to get all the repairs done at state expense, using skills of tri-service personnel.
The government has already allocated Rs 200 million for reconstruction work, out of which Rs 150 million has been earmarked exclusively for use in Army renovation roles.
SFHQ-West troops will be conducting the initial repair work in two phases with the close collaboration with the Navy, Air Force, Ministry of Resettlement, Municipal Councils and Pradeshiya Sabhas in respective areas.
A batch of 765 Army personnel with members of the Corps Engineer Service Regiment, Navy and Air Force personnel are currently carrying out this project.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday visited the affected areas again to observe the progress of reconstruction work and spoke to different sections of the public as well as those engaged in reconstruction work.
The security personnel and police have held a series of consultative meetings with the stakeholders on the reconstruction of the damaged establishments to identify the prioritized areas of repairs.