July 29, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today announced that a mega development plan will be implemented with the objective of uplifting rural areas in the next two years.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe made these remarks while participating in the opening ceremony of the newly built Manmunai Pattu Divisional Secretariat building in Batticaloa on Sunday.
Speaking on the occasion Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said that necessary steps have been taken to develop tourism industry in the Eastern province.
"We have already started an accelerated development program throughout the country. With the present government taking office, in 2015, each Grama Niladhari division in the country was given 1 million rupees for development programs. The Divisional Secretariat is the main hub of development work. In 2015 there were many shortcomings existed in these Divisional Secretariats and we decided to addres them."
"By now, steps have been taken to fix the shortcomings in Divisional Secretariats and provide efficient services to the people," the Premier added.
He said the government is planning to continue the implementation of the mega development plan for rural areas in the year 2019 and 2020.
"The President has initiated the "Grama Shakthi" Rural Development program according to this plan. We have also started the Gamperaliya program. In addition, several other development projects have been started focusing on developing the village," the Premier said.
The rural development programs will renovate existing and construct new reservoirs anicuts and roads, the Premier explained. He added that when these constructions are carried out, the government hopes to give priority to local farmers associations and constructors not to the large scale contractors in order to direct the money to the village.
"In addition, we have launched other programs to develop the conflict-affected East. One step is to develop the tourism industry in this area but the main issue is the difficulty in transportation. As a solution we are planning to commence aviation services for tourists in the Eastern Province," he said.
The Prime Minister also vested in the public the new Eravur Divisional Secretariat building.
The new Manmunai Pattu and Eravur Divisional Secretariat buildings were constructed with the financial allocation from the Ministry of Home Affairs. The Government has spent over 69 million rupees to construct the new buildings consisting of fully equipped auditoriums and all facilities needed by the staff.
The Minister of Home Affairs, Vajira Abeywardena, State Minister of Highways and Road Development, ALAM Hisbulla, Governor of the Eastern Province, Rohitha Bogollagama, Secretary to the Ministry of Home Affairs, S.T. Kodikara and a large number of government officials including politicians and politicians participated in the events.