The Government this week decided to give a host of relief measures for those affected by the Uma Oya Multipurpose Development Project including released of state land for relocation of affected communities.
President Maithripala Sirisena issued instructions to ensure the completion of compensation payments by the end of the year, while different Government institutions have been assigned responsibilities of delivering services needed by the community, imposing a specific deadline for each task, a statement released by the President’s media division said.
Over Rs. 200 million has been allocated to provide assistance, while the Finance Ministry has been instructed to give a two-year relief period for the affected community for repayment of housing loans installments and agricultural loans, the statement said.
These decisions were taken at a special meeting held recently at the Badulla District Secretariat to find prompt solutions for the issues arisen due to the Uma Oya Project.
The responsibility of the institution to find speedy solutions to the issues faced by the people in 32 Grama Niladhari Divisions in Bandarawela, Ella, Welimada, Uva Paranagama and Haputale Divisional Secretariats related to their drinking water, damages caused to houses and cultivations and losing houses were discussed at the meeting. An action plan with a specific time frame to implement those relief measures was also drawn up.
The Ministry of Plantation has been given instructions to release Creg Estate land which has already been identified to be used for resettlement. The Bandarawela Divisional Secretary has been instructed to build temporary houses till permanent houses are built in Creg Estate.
Divisional Secretariats have been instructed to expedite compensation process, while Rs. 300 million rupees will be released to the District Secretary, before end of this year. Badulla District Secretary, Uma Oya Multipurpose Development Project Director, and Head of Project Jana Sahana Secretariat, has been assigned with monitoring progress to ensure services are delivered on time, the statement said.
Further instructions have been issued to release Rs. 100 million before 20 July for renovation of six small tanks damaged or destroyed due to the Project before the next rainy season. To prepare for draught situations in the future, plans are to be drawn up to build six large scale tube wells in addition to the utilisation of existing water recourses.
Officials have also been instructed to provide water tanks to all families who have not been provided with water tanks to date.
Special provisions to the tune of Rs. 100 million have been given to the Uva Provincial Council to rehabilitate damaged rural roads and complete all renovations before the upcoming rainy season.