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* Extensive plans to develop Sri Lanka's Uva Province ahead of election
Sat, Jun 21, 2014, 08:31 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

June 21, Badulla: The Sri Lankan government has focused special attention on the development of the Uva Province and extensive plans are in place to improve all sectors, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said today.

The President said the Province has experienced a significant development during the last year as many development projects have been implemented in the Badulla district and the government has plans to develop the infrastructure facilities, health, education, drinking water and other requirements.

He made these statements while addressing the Badulla district progress review meeting held this morning at the Badulla post office auditorium.

District progress review meeting held ahead of the elections to the Province anticipated before September reviewed the progress of the development projects so far launched by the Government within the District and the future development plans.

The government plans to dissolve the Uva Provincial Council next month, before the end of its term in September this year.

President Rajapaksa said the government has launched a project to provide pure drinking water to all residents in the Province.

The project to construct the Badulla, Hali Ela and Ella Integrated Water Supply System at a cost of US$ 74 million aims to provide safe drinking water to the residents of the Province.

Focusing attention on the potato cultivation in the Badulla district, the President noted that local farmers have been able to produce 70 percent of potato demand now. The country will be self-sufficient with potatoes by 2018, he said.

The President also instructed the officials to construct an alternative road from Badulla to Mahiyangana as the existing road is constantly faced with severe threats of landslides.

The President also focused attention to environmental conservation in the Province and asked the officials to preserve the environment when implementing development projects.

During the meeting, Chief incumbent of the Muthiyangana Raja Maha Viharaya Venerable Murukdeniye Dhamma Rathana Thera informed the President that the renovation work of the Sangavasa, a residence for the monks, has been suspended by the Archaeological Department. The President instructed the relevant officials to start renovations immediately.

Ministers Nimal Siripala de Silva, Basil Rajapaksa, Dilan Perera, Felix Perera, Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Bandula Gunawardena, Vijith Vijithamuni de Soysa, Dullas Alahapperuma, Mahinda Samarasinghe and W.D. J. Seneviratne, Chief Minister Sashendra Rajapaksa, Governor Nanda Mathew, Treasury Secretary Dr. P. B. Jayasundera, President's Chief of Staff Gamini Senaratne and Badulla District Secretary Rohana K. Dissanayake participated in the meeting.

(Photos by Chandana Perera)

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