Mar 24, Colombo: In a special event held Sunday at Helboda Estate in Nuwara Eliya 98 houses built in Bhagat Singh Puram under the Indian Housing Project, were handed over to the beneficiaries.
High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu jointly with Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera in the presence of Palani Digambaram, Minister for Hill country New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development, Gayantha Karunathilake, Minister of Lands and Parliamentary Reforms, and V. Radhakrishnan, Minister of Special Area Development handed over the houses.
The village was named after Bhagat Singh, a famous Indian freedom fighter and youth icon, whose martyrdom day falls on 23 March.
Addressing the event, Minister Samaraweera described India as a true friend, always ready to assist Sri Lanka during emergencies and crisis situations.
High Commissioner in his remarks on the occasion, congratulated the proud owners of the newly built independent houses. He underscored that the Indian Housing Project in Sri Lanka with a grant of over US$ 350 million (close to Rs. 50 billion), was the largest Indian grant assistance project in any country abroad. He also recalled that out of the total commitment of 63,000 houses, 47,000 houses had already been built.
Expressing India's support for realization of Sri Lanka's developmental priorities, the envoy reiterated Government and people of India's commitment to participate with the people of Sri Lanka in their journey towards prosperity and development.
India has undertaken more than 70 people-oriented development projects in various fields including health, education, housing, skill development, infrastructure, vocational training among others, all across the country. About, 20 such projects are currently under progress. The overall development portfolio of Government of India in Sri Lanka is close to US$ 3 billion out of which US$ 560 million are in grants.
Several Members of Parliament and Central Provincial Council, senior officials from Plantation Human Development Trust (PHDT), Implementing Agency - Habitat for Humanity, Sri Lanka, Pusellewa Regional Plantation Company and a large number of people from the region attended the function.