- Bhagat Singh Puram consisting of 98 houses built under Indian Housing Project
In a special event at Helboda Estate in Nuwara Eliya, 98 houses built under the Indian Housing Project were handed over to the beneficiaries jointly by the High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu and Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera.
Present was for Hill country New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development Minister Palany Thigambaram, Lands and Parliamentary Reforms Minister Gayantha Karunatileka, and Special Area Development Minister V. Radhakrishnan.
Several Members of Parliament and Central Provincial Council as well as senior officials from the Plantation Human Development Trust (PHDT), Implementing Agency – Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka, Pussellawa Regional Plantation Company and a large number of people from the region attended the function. The village was named after Bhagat Singh, a famous Indian freedom fighter and youth icon, whose martyrdom day falls on 23 March.
Mangala Samaraweera described India as a true friend, always ready to assist Sri Lanka during emergencies and crisis situations.
The High Commissioner congratulated the proud owners of the newly-built independent houses in his remarks. He underscored that the Indian Housing Project in Sri Lanka with a grant of over $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 the realisation of Sri Lanka’s developmental priorities, he reiterated that the 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 the Government of India in Sri Lanka is close to $3 billion out of which $560 million are grants.