Published on: June 19, 2024

“Kandukara Dhashakaya” Special Integrated Rural Development Scheme: 14,088 Projects Launched Across 97 DS Divisions

  • Over Rs.9.6 Billion Allocated to Address Housing Needs, 89% Met for War-Displaced by 2023 – Urban Development and Housing Ministry Secretary, W.S. Sathyananda.
  • Completion of Pending Housing Projects from Previous Administrations Prioritized- National Housing Development Authority Chairman, Rajeev Suriyarachchi.
  • ONE STOP UNIT Launched to Expedite Planning and Investment Approvals – Urban Development Authority Chairman, Nimesh Herath.
  • Over Rs.200 Billion Paid to Contractors as Scheduled- Construction Industry Development Authority Chairman, R.H. Ruvinis.

Secretary to the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing W.S. Sathyananda announced that 14,088 projects have commenced across 97 Divisional Secretariat Divisions under the “Kandukara Dhashakaya” Special Integrated Rural Development Scheme, with a financial allocation of Rs.9, 622 million released this year.

He also noted that by the end of 2023, 89% of the housing needs for those displaced by the war have been met, and 275,127 families have been resettled under the overall resettlement program.

Mr. Sathyananda shared these updates during a media briefing themed “Two Years of Progress and Advancement” held at the Presidential Media Centre today (19).

Addressing the media briefing the Secretary further said,

The Ministry of Urban Development and Housing focuses on urban development, housing, and construction. By the end of 2023, the ministry had constructed 151,662 houses for those displaced by the war.

These houses were built with local funds, Indian aid, and support from both local and international NGOs. This effort has addressed 89% of the housing needs for the population who displaced by war. Additionally, 18,613 houses have been identified for construction for families still living in temporary shelters, representing the remaining 11% of housing needs.

Under the overall resettlement program, 275,127 families have been resettled to date. President Ranil Wickremesinghe has allocated Rs.500 million this year to expedite resettlement efforts. This funding will be used to provide clean drinking water and domestic electricity connections to displaced families.

Fifty Nano water treatment units are being constructed, particularly to address the kidney disease conditions in the northern and eastern areas. Additionally, the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing is tasked with making the country free of landmines. The government aims to achieve this by March 23, 2028. So far, 131.969 square kilometres of land in the north and east have been cleared of landmines, with only 25.09 square kilometres remaining. This year, Rs.50 million has been allocated for this effort.

Furthermore, the ministry oversees several special projects, including the Western Region Megapolis Master Plan, the Eastern Province Tourism Strategic Master Plan, the development of Hambantota and the preparation of the Greater Hambantota Development Plan, the Sustainable Tourism Plan, and assistance with the implementation of the Colombo City Urban Revitalization Project, and the Anuradhapura Integrated Urban Development Project.

Additionally, the Colombo Solid Waste Management Project is being implemented under the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing.
This year, Rs.10, 000 million has been allocated for the “Kandukara Dhashakaya”, Special Integrated Rural Development scheme, which has garnered special attention from the President. Consequently, 14,088 projects have been initiated across 97 Divisional Secretariat Divisions, with Rs.9, 622 million already released for these projects.

Chairman, National Housing Development Authority Rajeev Suriyarachchi;

Many projects undertaken by the National Housing Development Authority faced setbacks due to the economic crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in the past two years, Rs.10, 288 million have been provided as housing assistance to 18,123 beneficiary families, enabling 16,670 families to achieve their housing dreams. Additionally, we have provided housing assistance worth Rs.52.05 million to 50 victims of the Easter attack.

Under the housing program supported by the Government of India, the construction of 2,072 houses was initiated, with 732 houses already completed. The Government of India has provided Rs.1, 244 million to the National Housing Development Authority through the Indian High Commission.

Furthermore, Rs.5, 234 million have been allocated to 13,405 families under the low-interest loan program, resulting in 13,197 families successfully building homes.

The National Housing Development Authority has increased the monthly recovery progress from Rs.150 million to Rs.310 million. This increase has enabled the provision of more home loans, with Rs.1, 000 million allocated for loans at a 12% monthly interest rate. This is in addition to the Rs. 2,000 million allocated from the treasury.

According to the 2024 budget statement presented by President Ranil Wickremesinghe, plans are in place to grant freehold deeds to families living in apartments owned by the Housing Development Authority. By the end of this year, title deeds will be provided to 1,070 families in the Colombo Municipal Council Area. Additionally, 160 families in the Jaffna Guru Nagar housing scheme will receive freehold deeds, and title deeds have been prepared for another 742 houses.

Since 1979, the National Housing Development Authority has undertaken model village programs, including projects such as 10 Election Houses, 20 Election Houses, Udagammana, and other model villages. Currently, preparations are underway to issue title deeds to 32,000 families who have not yet received freehold rights.

Additionally, a request for Rs.15, 244 million has been submitted to the Treasury to finalize the construction of 44,053 unfinished houses from seven housing programs implemented between 2015 and 2019. Completion of these houses is expected promptly upon receipt of the allocated funds.

Minister of Urban Development and Housing, Prasanna Ranatunga, has instructed to expedite the completion of all housing projects initiated by previous governments or ministers that remain unfinished. This directive aims to provide timely relief to eligible beneficiaries awaiting these benefits.

Chairman, Urban Development Authority Nimesh Herath;

The Urban Development Authority oversees urban management across the country. We have resumed work on 22 projects halted during the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis. The Treasury has allocated Rs.1, 900 million for these projects.

Additionally, One Stop Unit has been launched to streamline the approval process for plans and investments. Our goal is to implement this online system across all urban development jurisdictions in Sri Lanka by 2025.

Furthermore, integrated development plans encompassing economic, social, environmental, and health aspects are being formulated for 276 designated urban development areas. Development plans for 87 local government bodies have already been published, with 26 more slated for gazetting this year. An additional 22 development plans are expected to be gazetted in the coming years.

Furthermore, as part of the Urban Regeneration Programme, 13,814 housing units have been completed across 22 housing schemes aimed at low-income earners, facilitating the resettlement of 11,967 families. Additionally, the Urban Development Authority successfully redeveloped an area spanning 116 acres.

Moreover, six housing projects that had been halted during the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis have been resumed. These projects include the construction of 4,074 housing units in locations such as Colombage Mawatha, Apple Waththa, Stadiumgama, Madampitiya Road, Ferguson Road, and Obeysekarapura.

Additionally, construction is set to commence in September of this year on 1,696 housing units for low-income individuals, supported by Chinese aid totalling 552 million yuan.

This authority has initiated a special program to attract investments to the country. As part of this initiative, plans have been made to allocate the land currently housing the President’s House in Kankasanthurai, Jaffna, for the establishment of an Information Technology University. Additionally, investors have been called upon to develop D.R. Wijewardena Mawatha in Colombo into an entertainment centre.

Chairman, Construction Industry Development Authority R.H. Ruvinis;

The Construction Industry Development Authority has disbursed over Rs.200 billion to construction contractors for completed projects to date. Moreover, payments have commenced for several identified special projects that were previously halted, aiming to resume their progress.

Additionally, registration for construction contractors has been initiated without late fees. In response to the National Construction Association’s request, small and medium constructors (C4-C9) who were unable to register before 2020 will also have the opportunity to re-register for a period of three years.

Furthermore, significant initiatives have been undertaken, including providing NVQ qualifications to approximately 7,000 construction workers and issuing construction worker ID cards.

Chairman, Sri Lanka Land Development Corporation Rear Admiral Eng.Hiran Balasuriya (Retd.);

An allocation of Rs.2, 190 million has been received in the budget for the Sri Lanka Land Development Corporation. Of this amount, Rs.843.91 million has been expended thus far. Currently, 31 on-going projects spanning four main areas are being implemented:
These projects include the maintenance of 44 km of main canals, 52 km of secondary canals, and 22 km of the Hamilton Canal in and around the Colombo Metropolitan Region as part of the Canals, Lakes, and Walkway Maintenance Programme. Additionally, projects such as the Madiwela South Diversion Channel under the Flood Control Project, and the installation of the proposed Gate Mounted Pumps at Kalu Bridge, are also underway.

Furthermore, nine projects are currently in progress involving wetland and lowland development, as well as design work, mapping, and feasibility studies.

A group of officials from the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing participated in the event.

Mission

The Presidential Media Division is fully responsible for socializing the views, actions, decisions and statements of His Excellency the President through the media. Electronic, print and new media will contribute to this through a credible and engaging approach.

The media department works as a source of information on the subject of the President’s vision and mission by maintaining good coordination with public and private media organizations and journalists.

National policies, plans and measures are explained to the people through the use of high quality media. Identify the fallacies and reveal the truth.